The small team at Vinehealth Australia works hard to keep your vines healthy and safe. In 2022-23, key work included progress with important projects and biosecurity incidence response.
Here when you need us
We help hundreds of growers each year who phone us about pests and diseases, quarantine, farm-gate hygiene materials, Register information and mapping.
We lead the conversation about wine biosecurity in Australia through news articles, feature articles, videos and case studies in the media, on industry platforms, in our monthly newsletter and on our website. And we deliver important biosecurity information and tools to growers and industry, including our newsletter, Biosecurity Alerts, Industry Notices, fact sheets, posters, farm-gate hygiene and wine tourism signage, disinfestation kits and more. Our education efforts are increasing the uptake of farm-gate hygiene activities in SA vineyards.
Heat shed operation
We operate a heat treatment facility in Naracoorte which growers and contractors can use to sterilise machinery and equipment when moving between SA regions. We recently invested in a system upgrade at the shed, including new probes, system software and an SMS service which allows real time notification of treatment completion.
We developed biosecurity training for contractors which goes through the actions needed to minimise biosecurity risk. We’ll progress our contractor education program in 2024.
We continued our collaborative project with Small Design Co. to produce a fit-for-purpose disposable shoe cover as an alternative to footwear disinfestation. Production is targeted to begin in 2023-24.
Mornington Peninsula rezoning
Three pieces of comprehensive and considered advice were provided to PIRSA evaluating the risk to SA of phylloxera introduction due to proposed rezoning of Mornington Peninsula from a Phylloxera Risk Zone to a Phylloxera Exclusion Zone by PIRSA.
Riverland fruit fly response
We directly communicated with growers within 24 hours of their vineyards being incorporated into a fruit fly outbreak or suspension area and told them how to comply with fruit movement requirements during vintage.
Grapevine red blotch virus (GRBV) response
We led SA’s GRBV response and surveillance to understand the level of infection in SA’s propagation sector, as part of eradication efforts. We successfully negotiated a 70% reduction in diagnostic testing costs for SA which has allowed around 800 grapevine samples to be collected across the state.
We provided significant support to PIRSA in response to 46 plant pest biosecurity incidents in 2022-23.
Grapevine scale response
As a result of visiting scale-impacted vineyards this vintage, we are part of an industry-working group looking to develop an action plan for managing this pest.
As part of the recent River Murray floods, we created maps to assist industry bodies and government in predicting the level of impact on vineyards in the Riverland. This enabled vineyard owners to be identified for relevant grants. We also coordinated an evaluation of the risk of phylloxera transferring to SA via the River Murray floods. The risk was assessed as negligible.
Reducing smoke taint
We act as a conduit between the Department of Environment and Water, regional associations, and growers in the Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges Region during the autumn prescribed burn season, to adjust burn dates to minimise the risk of smoke taint to unharvested grapes.
What you don’t see
We are your vines’ biggest ally. We assess biosecurity risks and have the tough conversations with government to ensure SA vineyards are healthy and safe.