With increasing global trade and movement of people, the risk of incursions of exotic pests and diseases is increasing. There is also a growing need to substantiate freedom from pests and diseases to our trading partners. The cost of monitoring is ever increasing and to better meet these challenges, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the grape industry has identified a need to transform surveillance and diagnostic operations.
Improvements in government, industry and community participation in surveillance will substantially strengthen our capacity to substantiate area freedom; and enable earlier response to incursions of harmful pests or diseases. Current surveillance systems are labour intensive and therefore costly, plus the collection and evaluation of data is not well unified.
The Western Australian viticulture industry enjoys a unique advantage of being free from a range of grape pests and diseases. However the industry is vulnerable to the introduction of exotic pests and diseases which would have a major negative impact on access to markets and profitability of grape producers.
MyPestGuide Grapes is a biosecurity surveillance tool, designed to assist the grape industry and general community in identifying pests and diseases potentially found on grapevines.
The guide provides images to aid identification along with text on description, life cycle, damage and control options. It is searchable by damage seen or pest description; provides links to other relevant documents and a direct link to MyPestGuide Reporter for reporting of pest occurrences. MyPestGuide Grapes is available as a mobile application and is available on Google Play and iTunes, and as an on-line web version (note that the on-line version is not currently compatible with Internet Explorer 11, it will work with Chrome, Firefox and Edge).
Version 1.4.10, released in December 2017, has 200 pest profiles. This is the final major release planned as part of this project.
When combined with MyPestGuide Reporter mobile app, the MyPestGuide Grapes mobile pest app becomes a powerful on the spot, mobile surveillance tool - combining the eyes of industry, surveillance personnel and the community (known as citizen science surveillance). This increases the chance of an early detection of a new pest or disease or one starting to act in a newly destructive manner.
New pests or diseases that affect grapes can increase the costs of production and impact on trade. Early detection is essential to limit the potential damage to the grape industry. Reporting of common pests is also beneficial - these help to build pest profiles for the industry to help direct future research as well as being used for inference reporting of exotic pest freedom for market access requirements. Pest reports can also be made directly on-line from the MyPestGuide community web site, this is also where you can view other community reports and all your own reports if you register.
Pest Reporting and evaluations
MyPestGuide Reporter was released as a stand alone reporting tool in July 2015, MyPestGuide Grapes field guide mobile app was launched in September 2015. Grape related pest reports sent in via MyPestGuide Reporter have been increasing annually since.
Apart from providing identification confirmation, we also evaluate the reports sent in and group them according to various demographics - there have been a range of pest issues sent in and from a range of production regions. There have been no new threats to the WA viticulture industry identified between 01 January 2015 to 10 September 2017; see MyPestGuide – grape related reports 2015-17 for the full report. We can also develope inference reports to test how reports of commonly seen organisms can be used to infer freedom from a more serious threat – our first test case being the brown marmorated stink bug.
We will produce a final evaluation report on the grape related reports sent in via MyPestGuide Reporter for the full evaluation project period in Mid 2018.
WA Viticulture Industry Biosecurity Plan and Manual
The project also aims to improve the biosecurity preparedness of the grape industry in Western Australia.
To achieve this, DAFWA has worked with industry to build a WA Viticulture Industry Biosecurity Plan (WAVIBP) and a WA Viticulture Industry Biosecurity Manual (WAVIBM) that works in conjunction with the national biosecurity plan and manual produced by Plant Health Australia. The WA plans have been developed to deal with biosecurity threats to the viticulture industry in WA from organisms that are present in other parts of Australia. The WAVIBP identifies, evaluates and rates the potential biosecurity threats, while the WAVIBM includes management strategies to deal with the more significant threats identified in the WAVIBP.
The Western Australian Viticulture Industry Biosecurity Plan (WAVIBP) was completed in December 2016, with a minor review and update in August 2017 (version 1.1). The WAVIBP identified six organisms as high priority pest threats and a further 39 organisms as priority pest threats to the WA viticulture industries.
The Western Australian Viticulture Industry Biosecurity Manual (WAVIBM) was completed in August 2017.
Both documents are now ‘live’ with the capacity to be reviewed and updated as required.