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More help to protect vineyards from pests and diseases

RD&A News | May 2022
31 May 2022
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Australian vineyard managers, and those who supply or work on vineyards now have a new tool at their disposal to help resist the threats posed by pests and diseases with the release of the Viticulture Biosecurity Manual.

The manual, developed by Plant Health Australia in collaboration with Wine Australia, Australian Grape & Wine, Vinehealth Australia, Hort Innovation, Australian Table Grape Association, and Dried Fruit Australia, guides vineyard managers through the process of understanding what biosecurity risks threaten their property and supply chain, where to find information and support, and what steps they can take to reduce risks.

Wine Australia Program Manager for Biosecurity Research, Development and Adoption, Craig Elliott, said there is a large range of pest and disease threats that have the potential to cause vine death, restrict vine growth, impact berry quality and quantity and increase production costs. There are often flow-on consequences from outbreaks with restrictions on the movement of fruit and machinery whilst the government biosecurity agencies try to contain the situation.

“Biosecurity plays a vital role in protecting our vineyards and industry, both now and for its future, by preventing incursions into vineyards and along the production chain as well as preparing contingency plans for the effects of outbreaks.

“Taking steps to secure your property to know what is coming in and then detecting and responding to pests and diseases early is better than trying to take action after a biosecurity disaster occurs.”

The Viticulture Biosecurity Manual provides a step-by-step guide to identify how pests and diseases may come into a vineyard or the supply chain and the biosecurity measures that can reduce that risk. 

People, vehicles, plant material and equipment like pruning equipment, pallets and storage bins can all bring in pests and diseases. Strong biosecurity – including monitoring for early signs of pests and diseases and responding quickly – can save time and financial losses. 

“The impact of an outbreak shouldn’t be underestimated. Even a small, localised event can be devastating for those affected, taking both an emotional and financial toll from the disruption it can cause,” Craig said. 

“Pests and diseases don’t respect property boundaries and do not care whether grapes are being grown for wine or the table. To provide the maximum protection for the wine sector we need to work closely with each other and our neighbours in other agricultural industries, as we face some common threats and need to have common approaches to biosecurity planning and managing pests and diseases.” 

Wine Australia plans to use the Viticulture Biosecurity Manual as a base to build more detailed information and combine it with existing material to provide a strong resource for winegrape growers and those who work with our sector.

The Viticulture Biosecurity Manual is available to freely download here

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.