You have an important role to play in protecting your vineyard and the entire viticulture industry from biosecurity threats.
Here are six easy ways you can reduce the threat of new pests impacting on your livelihood. Each of these practices should be embedded in the day-to-day management of your vineyard as they make good business sense by reducing the risk of spreading pests.
1. Be aware of biosecurity threats
Make sure you and your vineyard workers are familiar with the most important exotic pest threats of grapevines. Conduct a biosecurity induction session to explain required hygiene practices for people, equipment and vehicles in your vineyard.
2. Use pest-free propagation material
Ensure all propagation material is from trusted sources and vineyard inputs are fully tested, pest-free and preferably certified. Keep good records of your vineyard inputs.
3. Keep it clean
Practising good sanitation and hygiene will help prevent the entry and movement of pests onto your vineyard. Workers, visitors, vehicles and equipment can spread pests, so make sure they are clean before entering and leaving your vineyard. Limit entry points to the property, have a designated visitor’s area and provide vehicle and personnel wash-down facilities.
4. Check your vineyard
Monitor your grapevines frequently. Knowing the usual appearance of your vineyard and grapevines will help you recognise new or unusual plant symptoms or pests. Keep written and photographic records of all unusual observations. Constant vigilance is vital for early detection of any exotic plant pest.
5. Abide by the law
Be aware of and respect laws and regulations established to protect the viticulture industry, Australian agriculture and your region.
6. Report anything unusual
If you suspect a new pest – report it immediately to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800, 084 881.
The Biosecurity Manual for the Viticulture Industry outlines the recommended on farm biosecurity practices that aim to reduce the risk of pests. Other resources for grape producers are also listed.
To ensure your vineyard has the best protection against the introduction and spread of new pests, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your biosecurity activities by completing a best practice checklist.
Once identified, a few simple, non-costly and practical procedures can be implemented to strengthen areas of greatest risk to your vineyard. While changing everyday practices can take more effort in the short term, these will become second nature with time and are easier and cheaper than dealing with the introduction of a new pest.
Pest surveillanceReporting suspect pests