Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: February 2017
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Hello from Inca Pearce

The first grapes are in and anticipation is building for #V17. There’s also been plenty of activity at Vinehealth Australia already in 2017 and we hope you’ve noticed our increased energy and presence. You may have seen our vintage biosecurity tips appearing in Daily Wine News every week? You can check them out here. We’re also working with wine industry media on a range of important articles. In the February issue of WBM we talked about risky machinery movements – read it here – and in the February issue of Grapegrower and Winemaker Magazine (due out soon), we’ve written a major Phylloxera Update article with the assistance of Dr Kevin Powell. And check out Kevin’s Phylloxera Fast Facts below – phylloxera have weak anal muscles. Who knew?!
We've also created two striking new posters: the biosecurity checklist which you can view here and the new Footwear and Small Hand Tool Disinfestation Protocol which you can view here. Keep your eye out for more new articles, posters and videos, coming soon.
Meanwhile, while on Christmas holidays on the family farm in the Atherton Tablelands, just over an hour inland from Cairns, I took the opportunity to visit Howe Farms, Australia’s second largest banana grower, to study their biosecurity practices. Look out for a feature article on this in coming months.
All the best for vintage. As always, we welcome your feedback.
Inca Pearce
CEO Vinehealth Australia

Can you tick our boxes?

Vinehealth Australia has released a vintage biosecurity checklist, outlining a range of best practice actions growers can take to prevent the spread of phylloxera and other pests and diseases.
Hot off the press are a range of eye-catching posters available for printing. The posters prompt you to consider if you can tick the 10 biosecurity best practice farm-gate hygiene activities, including the new footwash protocol.

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Footbath rules updated

Vinehealth Australia has announced an update of the ‘Footwear and Small Hand Tool Disinfestation Protocol', in a media release on 23 January titled, ‘Call for improved farm-gate hygiene’.
Now, footwear and small hand tools must be immersed for a minimum of 60 seconds in a 2% sodium hypochlorite solution, with no rinsing after immersion, to ensure disinfestation.

New tool to clear up quarantine laws

Ever struggled to negotiate your way through state plant quarantine standards? Vinehealth Australia has started work on an online winegrape biosecurity quarantine legislation tool to help you understand the legal requirements of moving phylloxera vectors between locations.

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We're going green

We’re going green at Vinehealth Australia, and moving towards a paperless environment. And as part of our commitment to minimising the amount of paper we’re printing and posting, we’ll be contacting you in coming weeks to ensure we have your best email address.
By transitioning to electronic, we can invest more of the valued levies that vineyard owners pay Vinehealth directly into biosecurity activities.

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Khapra Beetle: grain pest number one

Meet the world's most feared grain pest – the Khapra beetle (Trogoderma Granarium), number two on Australia's top 40 list of unwanted plant pests (behind Xylella fastidiosa).
While it doesn't affect grapevines, it's an interesting biosecurity issue for all primary producers to examine. 

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Support for TDU signs

Australian and international visitors revelled in the entertainment and action during the Tour Down Under cycling race in January.
South Australian vineyard owners enjoyed seeing the new event specific farm-gate signs we offered to growers whose properties bordered the Tour routes. Here’s some feedback we received...

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Dr Kevin Powell’s Phylloxera Fast Facts

  • Adult grape phylloxera are strictly females and reproduce without male fertilisation. Hence it only takes one bug to start a new infestation. 
  • On average, adult phylloxera have a reproductive period of one to two months, during which time they lay three to six eggs per day. 

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Biosecurity innovation: Vineyard Register 2.0

Vinehealth Australia is planning a major new biosecurity IT platform to replace the existing Vineyard Register, to improve its ability to protect vineyards from pests and diseases.
“The current vineyard register is essential, but through innovation we feel it could better support all parts of biosecurity management, particularly planning, response management and surveillance."

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What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a system to reduce the risk of entry, establishment and spread of pests, diseases and weeds that threaten the economy and environment. It’s also a system for managing and recovering from an incursion of a pest and disease by minimising its impact through eradication, containment and ongoing asset protection. Biosecurity is a shared responsibility – we need to work collaboratively.

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