Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: November 2017
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Hello from Inca Pearce

Vintage is coming! Good news – now is the perfect time to plan your vintage biosecurity approach. Does your induction program for vintage employees and contractors include key information about biosecurity? Think about where you’re sourcing grapes and grape products from – what are the biosecurity regulations associated with these movements?
We’re preparing pre-vintage biosecurity tips, which we’ll release weekly in December and January, and we’ll be sharing lots of information to help you manage 'high biosecurity risk' vintage activities, for example, moving grapes and machinery between states.
You may remember a story in a recent issue of our e-news announcing plans for a new Digital Biosecurity Platform for the Australian wine industry. We’re now discussing the platform with potential partners – including funding partners – and we’re finalising a procurement plan. You can take a look at our Digital Biosecurity Platform Snapshot here.
I’ll finish with some important housekeeping. Some of you may have recently received a demand notice from Vinehealth Australia with a 25% penalty tax applied to your outstanding levy debt. This is because you defaulted on your final notice and your 5% penalty notice.
The levy remains $9.50 per hectare, with a minimum of $50, and it enables the significant biosecurity activities of this organisation that help to safeguard the health of vines. We all have a collective responsibility to ensure vineyards are protected.
Please contact Jo in our office if you have any concerns about your Vinehealth Australia account: phone 08 8273 0550 or email

Inca Pearce
CEO Vinehealth Australia

P.S Congratulations to the Barossa Vine Improvement group (also known as the Barossa Grapegrowers’ Vine Selection Society Inc) on its 50th birthday, celebrated last week with a dinner at Yalumba. The group was formed in 1967 by local growers and viticultural researchers, with a focus on developing new clones and high quality vinifera source blocks in the Barossa.

P.P.S. It's the inaugural National Agriculture Day! The ag industry is worth more than $63 billion to the national economy. Give yourself a pat on the back.

In this issue

Last issue highlights

Biosecurity shock:
are we ready?

The recent National Biosecurity Forum has highlighted the need for the Australian wine industry to continually assess and strengthen its resilience to a biosecurity shock.
Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Pearce attended the National Biosecurity Forum in Canberra in early November. “There are opportunities we must leverage to both prevent incursions and to develop management strategies to deal effectively with incursions," she said

Read more

Stop phylloxera for $55

You can prevent the spread of phylloxera for $55. That’s the cost of using the Heat Shed in Naracoorte to disinfest machinery and equipment when moving it between vineyards, regions or states – if you’re an accredited user. 
Based at the Naracoorte Saleyards, the Heat Shed is an increasingly popular facility for grapegrowers in the Limestone Coast and beyond.
To become an accredited user, growers must attend a scheduled training session and the next accreditation session will be held on Friday 15 December at 9.30am.

Read more

Free TDU signs!

Vinehealth Australia is again offering free biosecurity signs for vineyard owners along the Tour Down Under route. All vineyard owners with vines within 50 metres of the track have been sent a letter from Vinehealth Australia outlining how to order signs.
“We encourage you to order your signs and display them outside your vineyards along the TDU route,” Vinehealth Australia's Suzanne McLoughlin said.

Read more

If you spot me,
report me

Ever spotted unusual leaf symptoms or an insect you’ve never seen before in the vineyard, and considered if it could be new to Australia?
Vinehealth has produced an eye-catching poster to help grapegrowers identify 10 high priority plant pests and diseases not yet in Australia, as well as two reportable endemic pests.

Read more

State of play in
virus detection

Several diagnostic methods are available for grapevine virus identification. In this second article in our series to improve grower knowledge of viruses, Dr Nuredin Habili from Waite Diagnostics, discusses these methods, their benefits and their limitations. 

Sign, sign,
everywhere a sign

Research shows that signs are powerful tools in the biosecurity fight. And signs are needed for varied purposes: to educate tourists, to direct visitors to the correct areas, to educate staff.
For that reason, we have developed a multi-pronged signage attack for the coming months involving farm-gate signs for vineyards not near cellar doors and tourist-friendly signs for consumer-facing purposes.

Read more

Global phylloxera strains database coming

Over the past 30 years, international researchers have discovered the presence of different phylloxera strains and their varying ability to cause damage to grapevines. So it’s important to know which strains are where, to ensure we have effective pest management and quarantine strategies in place. To assist in this work, a databased called PHYLLI has been designed.

Read more

Rootstocks: more
than pest prevention

We love reading Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine at Vinehealth Australia. It was a nice surprise to see the ‘Nursery school’ article in the latest issue, discussing the benefits of rootstocks. Gourmet Traveller Wine reports, aside from phylloxera protection, rootstocks are used to improve yield, increase or decrease vine growth, or mitigate problems such as salinity, acidity and drought. 

Read more

Biosecurity tips

  • Tip#9: Early in the growing season is the best time to identify Eutypa symptoms and assess infection of your blocks. Refer to this handy guide. #Vinehealth
  • Tip#10: Undertaking petiole sampling or bunch counts? Use this time to look closely for any unusual pests or diseases and report them to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. #Vinehealth
  • Tip#11: Be part of Australia’s biosecurity army. Know the exotic pests and diseases you and your staff must keep an eye out for in vineyards. #Vinehealth
  • Tip#12: Regularly inspect your vines for anything unusual or different. Seek help to identify what the problem is. #Vinehealth

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.

Copyright © Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia,
trading as Vinehealth Australia and governed by 
The Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act 1995