Vinehealth Australia
eNewsletter: April 2021
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Hello from Inca Lee

With public events starting up again, at least in Australia, it’s an ideal time to review what we have in place to protect our vineyards from pest, disease and weed entry.

When we allow people to enter our vineyards unchecked, we are accepting the risk that they might carry in pests on their clothes, shoes or vehicle tyres.

We encourage you to be on the front foot and include biosecurity wording in your marketing materials – your website, social media, advertising, flyers – to let visitors know not to enter your vineyard without permission.

Have a look at some of the case studies on our website to get inspiration about biosecurity best practice. For example, Shottesbrooke has added their biosecurity expectations into their Event Booking Terms and Conditions. People booking functions are asked not to enter vineyards or allow their suppliers or guests into vineyards.

With biosecurity now front of mind for most people in the community, thanks to COVID, we can capitalise on this momentum for the benefit of our grape and wine industry.

As always, we encourage you to talk to us about how you can incorporate best practice biosecurity into your business.

Finally, a reminder that levy invoices will be generated from 30 April. If you have any changes to your planting records, or need to update your contact details or preferred method of receiving your levy notice, please contact us on (08) 8273 0550 as soon as possible.
Inca Lee
CEO, Vinehealth Australia

In this issue

Last issue highlight

Innovation needed
in biosecurity

A greater focus on innovation is needed to build a stronger biosecurity system in Australia, according to Head of Biosecurity at DAWE, Andrew Tongue.
Speaking at the ABARES Outlook 2021 conference in March, Andrew also said it was important for Governments to strengthen partnerships with industries and build better preparedness and response arrangements.

Read more

Learnings from
bushfire response

The challenges of bushfire management are not dissimilar to those of biosecurity, according to Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of Resilience NSW, who spoke at the Australian Biosecurity 2030 Workshop, held in 2020.
Touching on his experiences as Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service in light of the devastating 2019–2020 bushfire season, Shane spoke about ‘Making biosecurity part of
everyday life’.

Read more

Interstate servicing of machinery/equipment

In SA’s Plant Quarantine Standard, Condition 7, Clauses 2 and 3 relate to machinery and equipment previously used in grape production. Anyone planning to import such items into SA from interstate, must understand and abide by the entry requirements.
There may be instances, however, when a piece of equipment or machinery is sent from SA to an interstate Phylloxera Exclusion Zone (PEZ) for servicing alone.

Read more

Improving virus management

When we caught up with virus expert Dr Fiona Constable for a chat about her work in February, she also shared her views on how we can improve grapevine virus management.
Fiona, the Research Leader for Microbiology, Microbial Sciences, Pests and Diseases group, Agriculture Victoria, says five things are critical: understanding vectors, using high health planting material, improving surveillance, improving diagnostics and farm-gate hygiene.

Read more

Phylloxera and COVID: lessons for wine

COVID-19 and phylloxera destruction in Europe: though these two events sit more than 100 years apart, they have had almost immeasurable impacts on the wine trade, not least because of the gregarious nature of wine and the sharing of people, ideas and techniques.
Those words were written by Sam Hellyer on, in a fascinating article comparing the high transmissibility of the two diseases and the social impact of the outbreaks.

Read more

Risky plants intercepted

Biosecurity officers and detector dogs at a Sydney Mail Centre have intercepted two international packages with plants that are known hosts of Xylella fastidiosa, Australia’s number one priority plant pest.
One of the packages contained live asparagales shrub plants with heavy fungal growth and bacterial contamination, the other contained fig cuttings.

Read more

In focus: white-headed grape leaffolder

As part of keeping up to date with pests affecting grapegrowing areas overseas, Vinehealth Australia’s Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin joined Washington State Wine Commission’s WAVEx webinar on a new grape leaffolder species found in Washington vineyards, delivered by Washing State University research entomologist, Dr. David James.

Read more

Keen Khapra beetles

Back in February 2017 we brought you an e-news story about Australia’s Number 2 exotic and unwanted plant pest and global threat, Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium). This highly invasive pest poses a major threat to Australia’s billion-dollar grains industry.
According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, in 2020, Australia saw a marked increase in Khapra beetle interceptions.

Read more

Watch this

Phylloxera Immersion Tour 2019

In November 2019, 35 wine industry members from around Australia visited Victoria's Yarra Valley to learn about the impact of phylloxera. There are 2,500 hectares of vines in the Yarra Valley and more than 1,000 hectares of these have been confirmed as infested with phylloxera. The low level of replanting to date of phylloxera infested vines in the Yarra Valley will likely see a drop in Yarra Valley wine in years to come.

Watch the video here

Biosecurity supporters

Barossa Council

“It’s fundamental to our culture and is a major local employer, not to mention the economic benefits to the region from wine sales and wine tourism. But with any industry comes risk and protecting our beautiful young and old vines from new pests, diseases and weeds is critical. That’s why initiatives to educate visitors about not walking into vineyards are so important. We commend Vinehealth Australia for creating these wine tourism biosecurity signs.”

Barossa Mayor Bim Lange

Biosecurity tips

  • #V21 Tip#9: Vintage is a great time to look out for any unusual vine health symptoms and to seek help in identifying them so they can be addressed. Check out our If You Spot Me, Report Me! poster and associated documents to help you identify unwanted pests and diseases. #Vinehealth 
  • #V21 Tip#10: Are you moving machinery and equipment between the Limestone Coast and other South Australian wine regions? Best practice is to use the Naracoorte Heat Shed for disinfestation. #Vinehealth
  • #V21 Tip#11: Are you aware of the current entry conditions relating to phylloxera in SA’s Plant Quarantine Standard? For example, used netting, trellis posts, vine guards, dripper tube, wire and clips are prohibited entry, along with winegrapes grown in a Phylloxera Risk Zone and Phylloxera Infested Zone. #Vinehealth 
  • #V21 Tip#12: Stay alert for biosecurity breaches during vintage. Report these to Vinehealth Australia on 08 8273 0550 or your state biosecurity department. #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