Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: April 2017
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Hello from Inca Pearce

As another vintage nears completion, we’re continuing to gather momentum at Vinehealth Australia to ensure we’re delivering the tools you need to keep your vineyards safe.
We’re also working hard behind the scenes to ensure your voice is heard at the national table when it comes to discussions about biosecurity research and investment. I’ve delivered three speeches in the past three weeks, the first a talk at Parliament House in Canberra about the need for continued investment in wine industry biosecurity research, to protect our valuable vines against pest and disease incursions. This meeting was part of planning for the future in plant biosecurity research. See the article below for more on that.
The second speech was to the national Subcommittee on Domestic Quarantine and Market Access where I outlined our new Winegrape Biosecurity Quarantine Legislation Tool, which we developed in response to industry need to easily check the legal requirements of moving phylloxera vectors between and within states. This tool was enthusiastically supported by every state regulator in the room.
The final talk last week was to a roundtable of leaders of the national biosecurity sector. I outlined the issues we in the wine industry face in relation to farm-gate hygiene compliance, state plant quarantine standards and all sorts of other topics that keep me awake at night!
It’s been a year since I started as CEO of Vinehealth Australia and it’s been an intense but enjoyable ride. After an initial and necessary focus on stabilizing the ship, we’ve now ramped up activity to ensure we’re doing our job – safeguarding the South Australian wine industry.
As always, we welcome your input and feedback.
Inca Pearce
CEO Vinehealth Australia

P.S. The 2015-16 Annual Report is now available – click here to read it.

Strains matter

If you’re in or near a Phylloxera Infested Zone, it’s important to be aware of which phylloxera strains have been detected in that Zone, to factor into your rootstock selection. In addition, identifying phylloxera down to the strain level can help link new infestations to their source. Vinehealth is a strong supporter of research into phylloxera strains, rootstock testing and disinfestation techniques to ensure Australia has a rigorous system for the prevention of further phylloxera spread.

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Trunk disease
research continues

Eutypa dieback and botryosphaeria dieback are major grapevine trunk diseases that threaten the sustainability of Australian vineyards. Causal fungi infect pruning wounds and colonise wood, causing dieback and vine death (Wine Australia, 2016).
Vinehealth Australia fully understands that many growers are facing a current battle in managing these trunk diseases. Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin shares some of the ongoing work on eutypa dieback and botryosphaeria dieback.

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Clean those shears!

Thinking of running an interstate pruning competition? Or servicing your pruning shears across the border? Keep best practice biosecurity front of mind!
According to our National Phylloxera Management Protocol and reflected in South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standards, small hand tools are required to be cleaned to remove soil and plant material and accompanied by a Plant Health Certificate before entry into SA.

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 Research delivery
under the microscope

Australia's biosecurity research framework is undergoing major change as the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) prepares for its June 2018 wind up.
Vinehealth Australia, which has been a participant of the PBCRC since 2012, is involved in discussions as to the best mechanism to manage and deliver national biosecurity research and innovation for plant industries into the future.

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Make biosecurity a
daily activity

Ron Cullen, Chair of the NFF’s Biosecurity Taskforce, is an advocate for change in the way farmers think about biosecurity. Vinehealth Australia is sharing this thought-provoking article which is also relevant for the viticulture industry.
Biosecurity underpins Australian agriculture, but people are so busy running their farms they don’t think about it, says National Farmers’ Federation’s biosecurity taskforce chairman Ron Cullen.

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I don’t come from a land down under

While you’re up on the harvester this vintage, consider the ideal position you’re in to see your vineyard block from a bird’s eye view. This is a great time to spot any vine health issues. Monitoring on foot obviously gives you a close up view of your vines where you can discover the unusual…. but do you know what you are looking for, or what to do if you find something unfamiliar?

Initiative working to protect SA growers

A project called ‘One Biosecurity’ has been launched by PIRSA to strengthen biosecurity activities that underpin production and market access for the State’s horticulture and viticulture industries. Vinehealth's Inca Pearce says it's wonderful to see the SA Government supporting wine-related biosecurity initiatives.

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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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