Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: November 2019
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Hello from Inca Lee

Thanks to all who expressed interest in attending our Phylloxera Immersion Tour to the Yarra Valley next week. We're busily adding the finishing touches to a fantastic itinerary for the 1.5 day tour and look forward to sharing our learnings. 

Developed and delivered in partnership with Wine Yarra Valley, the tour will take participants to a phylloxera infested vineyard where they will see the impacts of phylloxera. We'll learn about rootstocks, discuss financial and social implications of a phylloxera incursion, we'll look at heat sheds and wash down facilities, we'll hear from scientists and we'll talk about prevention. And of course we'll follow strict biosecurity protocols as we travel around. 

Meanwhile, as we prepare for another vintage, we've updated our Vintage Toolkit in preparation for #V20. Click here to view it. We've also created some new tools for industry. Below we launch our new Biosecurity Bulletin. Our first Bulletin is for transporters in the wine supply chain. We share nine key steps for transporters to follow, to ensure our grapevines remain healthy and protected from a significant plant pest incursion this vintage.

Our second Biosecurity Bulletin will be focused on fruit fly management, which we hope to share with you in our December e-news. 

On the fruit fly front, note that movement restrictions for fruit fly host produce affected by the outbreak at Lindsay Point in north-western Victoria have now been extended until at least 20 January 2020 – encroaching on the harvest period. The originally declared 1.5km radius outbreak area and 15km suspension area continue to be in place and have not been extended. The suspension area encompasses the eastern edge of South Australia’s Riverland and parts of Victoria and New South Wales.

For all information relating to this outbreak, refer to the PIRSA website here. For further inquiries, contact PIRSA on (08) 8207 7814 or the dedicated industry number on 1800 255 556.

Finally, I encourage you to attend one of the Vintage 2020 briefings being run by SAWIA around our wine regions. Covering topics including employee relations and WHS, you will also receive a copy of our top 10 farm-gate hygiene activities fact sheet. Click here for more information.

Wishing you a terrific end to 2019, 

Inca Lee
CEO Vinehealth Australia

In this issue

Last issue highlights

Meet Dr Sally Troy

New Vinehealth Australia Director Dr Sally Troy brings a wealth of biosecurity experience to the Board table.
The former Assistant Secretary at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Sally’s most recent work focused on plant health policy. In that role, Sally chaired the Plant Health Committee, the body that brings together the heads of plant biosecurity agriculture departments in each Australian state.
Sally has 30 years’ experience in science and government behind her.

Read more

Six key steps for biosecurity action

If you’re wondering where to start with biosecurity activities on your property to help protect your vines from the entry and spread of pests, diseases and weeds, you’re not alone.
 We’re continuing to work hard to help you convert your biosecurity awareness into action on your property, and we've created a six step process to help you identify your key biosecurity risks and how to appropriately address them on-farm.

Read more

Biosecurity Bulletin
for Transporters

Vinehealth Australia recognises the important role that transporters play in the wine supply chain in keeping our vines healthy, when moving items such as grapes, juice, marc, machinery and equipment between our vineyards and wineries.
We have prepared a comprehensive Biosecurity Bulletin for transporters, focusing on their key biosecurity obligations as part of the supply chain.

Read more

BMSB update

Seasonal measures for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) are in full swing for the 2019-20 risk season, as reported in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture’s October 2019 Biosecurity Matters Newsletter.
The seasonal measures have been strengthened further this year in response to the rapid spread of BMSB through Europe and North America, and apply to goods shipped between 1 September 2019 to 31 May 2020.

Read more

Check the #V20 Toolkit

Vintage is a time when there is significant movement of people around grape properties, undertaking activities such as pest and disease monitoring, checking irrigation, maturity sampling, berry tasting and, of course, harvesting.
Machinery and equipment movements are also likely to be occurring on and off your property.
With these activities in mind, take the time now to assess your biosecurity preparedness for #V20 using Vinehealth Australia’s handy Vintage Toolkit. 

Read more

More signs popping up

At Vinehealth Australia, we love seeing biosecurity signs out in the field. Thanks to Rachel Williams, Grower Engagement Officer for McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association, for sharing this photo of local grower Mark Bates, who won a Vinehealth Australia biosecurity sign at a recent Vineyard Day at Blewitt Springs.
Has your regional association considered funding some biosecurity signs to give away to growers or wineries at events as part of efforts to demonstrate a visible commitment to biosecurity?

Read more

Tour Down Under
and your vines

With the 2020 Tour Down Under fast approaching, we’ve written to vineyard owners with properties along the route to advise that the race will pass within 50 metres of their vineyards.
We encourage all vineyard owners in the race zones to manage the increased biosecurity risk that accompanies major events. There are some simple protocols that can help to keep vines safe.

Read more

In the news

Keep your eyes peeled for some important biosecurity content coming out soon. In the November issue of Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker Magazine we share a story about Xylella, written with the National Xylella Preparedness Program Manager Craig Elliott. This is part two of our xylella series. 
And in the November/December issue of WBM – Australia’s Wine Business Magazine, we celebrate our 120 birthday with a walk down memory lane.

Read more

Unwelcome surprise

Biosecurity officers at Perth Airport recently uncovered a haul of biosecurity risks after x-raying an abandoned bag that had made its way here from South Africa, as reported in the Department of Agriculture’s October 2019 Biosecurity News.
The bag contained rats skewered on wooden sticks, dried unidentified plant material with insects, live plant material, kola nuts, rawhide fans and other suspect material wrapped in paper.

Read more

Locust levels low

Did you know that there are coordinated locust monitoring efforts occurring across Australia, due to the significant damage that locusts can inflict on agricultural industries? The good news is that from spring monitoring, locusts are currently at low levels. This has been helped by low spring rainfall and drying vegetation in many areas in Queensland and New South Wales in particular.

Read more

Did you know?

This month’s historic article, titled ‘The Phylloxera Question’ was found on page 10 of the Adelaide Observer, dated Saturday 18 August 1883. The article includes observations over time of phylloxera on roots left after vineyards were grubbed, demonstrating the necessity of live tissue for phylloxera viability. Importantly phylloxera were noted to survive on these remaining sections of vine roots for at least three years post grubbing of vineyards. Vinehealth Australia does not of course endorse the use of dynamite to clear the soil of phylloxera!

Click here to read the story.

Biosecurity tips

  • Pre #V20 Tip#1: Communicating important biosecurity information to seasonal workers? Check out our Seasonal Workers multi-language fact sheet here, currently available in English, Malay, Vietnamese, Urdu, Hindi, Thai and Dari. #Vinehealth
  • Pre #V20 Tip#2: Be part of Australia’s biosecurity army. Know the regulated endemic and exotic pests and diseases you and your staff must keep watch for in vineyards and wineries, and on incoming cargo and machinery and equipment. Report suspected cases. #Vinehealth
  • Pre #V20 Tip#3: 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
  • Pre #V20 Tip#4: Thinking of sending off diagnostic samples for analysis this season? Ensure you aware of state quarantine regulations and the documentation required for movement within and between states. #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