Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: July 2020
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Hello from Inca Lee

I’m pleased to report that a draft new South Australian Phylloxera Outbreak Plan will soon be available to review. Significant work has occurred on this plan, which we are developing with Biosecurity SA to improve the state’s preparedness for a phylloxera incursion.

While we're doing everything in our power to prevent phylloxera entering this state, biosecurity threats are on our doorstep and we must be prepared.

The new South Australian Phylloxera Outbreak Plan is a contemporary, detailed and practical resource with dual benefits to Biosecurity SA and Vinehealth Australia from a regulatory perspective, and for the South Australian wine industry via a new industry preparedness component.

This will improve business level understanding of the probable commercial impacts of a phylloxera incursion, and improve business preparedness to minimise this disruption. 

See our article below for more information about the new Phylloxera Outbreak Plan. We look forward to sharing the draft Plan soon.
Inca Lee
CEO, Vinehealth Australia

In this issue

Last issue highlights

PQS entry rules live

The new consolidated phylloxera condition (Condition 7) in South Australia’s Plant Quarantine Standard (PQS) Version 17.0 is now live and we remind industry to be aware of the updated movement conditions and be ready to comply.
Key changes as a result of a Vinehealth Australia-led review can be found here and include: steam as a sterilisation treatment method for all machinery or equipment being imported into SA is now prohibited; and the entry of used netting, trellis posts, vine guards, dripper tube, wire and clips into SA is now prohibited.

Read more

SA Phylloxera Outbreak Plan coming soon

Significant work has occurred on the new South Australian Phylloxera Outbreak Plan, and a draft plan will soon be available to review.
“We’re creating a contemporary, detailed and practical resource that will enable Biosecurity SA and Vinehealth Australia to effectively respond to a phylloxera outbreak to minimise the impact on grape and wine businesses. In addition, it will enable industry to be proactive in preparing for an outbreak and to ensure their business is resilient to such a biosecurity shock,” said Vinehealth Australia Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin.

Read more

Maroondah PIZ boundary expanded

Following notification from Agriculture Victoria of further phylloxera detections inside and outside the Maroondah Phylloxera Infested Zone earlier this year, a new expanded Maroondah PIZ boundary has recently been gazetted. The updated Maroondah PIZ boundary has pushed out the eastern and south-eastern edges, and now incorporates areas of Woori Yallock, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Wesburn, Hoddles Creek, Beenak, Gladysdale and Three Bridges.

Read more

Biosecurity is key
at Tyrrell’s

Tyrrell’s is one of Australia’s most famous wine names and many thousands of visitors flock to the family-owned wine company’s Hunter Valley winery each year to taste the iconic Vat 1 Semillon and the many other wines on offer.
Group Vineyard Manager Andrew Pengilly is responsible for the vines that underpin the Tyrrell’s brand, including 25 acres (10ha) of vines that are more than 100 years old.

Read more

2020 SA Winegrape Crush Report released

The 2020 South Australian Winegrape Crush Survey Report was released this month by Wine Australia and can be found here. Vinehealth Australia contributed aggregated and deidentified vineyard planting data from our South Australian Vineyard Register for the report.
For 2020, the total reported South Australian winegrape crush was 651,195 tonnes. This was 12% below the 10-year average of 736,537 tonnes and the smallest crush since 2007.

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Meet Nathan Rhodes: Biosecurity SA

Keeping South Australia fruit fly free is a huge job. Responsible for this is Executive Director of Biosecurity SA, Nathan Rhodes, who was appointed in September 2019.
“The fruit fly response going on at the moment is the biggest we’ve ever had, certainly within the past few decades,” Nathan said. “We’ve got an incident management team that is working full time on that, and the response will go on until December this year. We have confidence we will eradicate it, but it’s a challenging outbreak.”

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National fruit fly management intensifies

A new National Fruit Fly Strategy 2020-2025, expected to be launched in September, will provide a strong framework for stakeholders to coordinate fruit fly activities across Australia.
Managed by the National Fruit Fly Council, the strategy includes an implementation plan with planned activities for stakeholders and the Council.
“Fruit flies are Australia’s most significant horticultural pest and a growing problem,” said Christina Cook, Manager of the NFFC.

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Understanding phylloxera’s past

There is still much to be researched about the insect phylloxera but understanding its past may be part of the key to unlocking its future in our changing climate.
This is discussed in the 4 July 2020 edition of The Economist international newspaper, in an article titled ‘Phylloxera: The root of the problem’.
The article describes research on sequencing the phylloxera genome and, in particular, importance of this research for Australia where most vines remain ungrafted.

Read more

Good vibrations

Finding a mate can be difficult if your eyesight isn’t great. That’s why sharpshooters responsible for infecting grapevines with the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium use sound generated by shaking their bodies instead.
The US Department of Agriculture is conducting research using lasers to pick up the insects’ vibrations and turn them into sound, to better understand courting behaviour.

Read more

Biosecurity scholarship up for grabs

For the first time, the Farm Biosecurity Program is supporting a Nuffield Scholarship for a primary producer to study a topic relevant to on-farm biosecurity.
There are 20 Nuffield Scholarships on offer this year, each valued at $30,000, including one Farm Biosecurity Nuffield Scholarship.

Read more

Watch this

What are you doing to protect your vines?

Vine biosecurity is at a critical stage. We all have a part to play to secure our future. We can do simple things to protect our vines, our regions and our industry. What are you doing to protect you vines?

Watch this video to lean about biosecurity and to get inspired.

Biosecurity supporters

Devil's Corner

“We're seeing greater and greater numbers of tourists, both local and international, visiting our Tasmanian cellar doors. It’s great to have consumer facing signage that not only educates visitors about the importance of biosecurity, but is also tasteful and less hard-edged than a standard 'Do Not Enter’ sign.”

Nick Cooper, Assistant Vineyard Manager at Devil’s Corner, Tasmania

Biosecurity tips

  • #Pruning Tip #4: Discovered scale or mealybug in your blocks? Consider improving your pruning equipment hygiene when moving between blocks. #Vinehealth
  • #Pruning Tip #5: While pruning, look for characteristic purply-red blotchy, web-like scarring on dormant canes. You could have a powdery mildew infection. #Vinehealth
  • #Pruning Tip #6: Think you might have a virus issue in one of your vineyard blocks? Now is an ideal time to send in a sample for diagnostic testing. #Vinehealth
  • #Pruning Tip #7: If your block has been diagnosed with a grapevine virus, consider whether an insect might have spread the virus. If so, get help to develop a control program for the vector to minimise further virus spread. #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