This is one of a series of articles on Biosecurity prepared by the Almond Board of Australia and Plant Health Australia
What are the top pest risks for the Almond industry, and who decided?
One of the most valuable aspects of the biosecurity planning process our industry has undergone is the skilful, thorough analysis and prioritising of the exotic pests that pose the greatest threat to the Australian Almond industry. For the first time, we have accessed the latest and most credible research and information about these pests from here and overseas and pulled it all together in a robust risk assessment framework. Who decided what the top pest risks for the Almond industry are? The best experts in Australia, backed up by the latest overseas research, that‟s who. “This is important work and something we just could not have afforded to do ourselves, said Julie Haslett, CEO of the Almond Board of Australia. It‟s been coordinated by Plant Health Australia (PHA) and funded by PHA‟s Members and associated industry research and development corporations.”
A list of the priority pests which pose the greatest risk to the Almond industry was then compiled from this ranking process and further consultation to provide a focus for further risk mitigation activities such as surveillance, on-farm biosecurity and awareness activities.
Almond’s Top Risks Three of the top pest risks for the Almond industry are:
Navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella)
Filbertworm (Cydia latiferreana)
Leaf scorch (Xylella fastidiosa).
Correct Identification Critical Diagnostics, the process of correctly identifying a pest, is absolutely critical. Mistakes have the potential to cost millions, harm reputations and lose valuable trade. PHA in collaboration with the Australian Government and research organisations has been working towards better national diagnostic capability and strengthening our international links. Databases like the Plant Health Experience Register (PHER) capture the best brains from scientific and industry backgrounds while the Australian Plant Pest Database (APPD) ensures easy access to information related to active plant surveillance records. Guidelines have been developed for the preparation and validation of diagnostic protocols to ensure all of the relevant information is included in these documents and the methods can be verified. High Priority Pests identified in Industry Biosecurity Plans provide a focus and starting point for the development of diagnostic protocols and contingency plans. PHA is working with all Parties to ensure we have the capacity to diagnose EPPs now and into the future. Want more info? If you would like more information, get of a copy of our Biosecurity Plan. You can
Other Pests that affect Almonds that have been identified for Almonds as well as other tree crops include: Texas root rot (Phymatotrichopsis omnivora); and
Asian Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) .
For more information and fact sheets on each, check the „Awareness‟ section of the (industry) Biosecurity Plan; check the Fact Sheets at http://www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/ project_documents/ or call 1800 084 881.
then something they had not thought about took hold.” Prioritising the pests within the Nut Industry‟s Biosecurity Plan means that we can concentrate our biosecurity planning efforts on the pests that pose the highest risk to the Almond industry. For the first time, a list of priority Almond pests, determined on the best science around, is available to focus industry attention and guide research and development funding. How was it done? There were three key steps in developing the priority pest list for the industry: All plant pests known to affect our crops, but which are not currently present in Australia, were identified. This process drew on resources such as Biosecurity Australia‟s Import Risk Analyses and the Crop Protection Compendium. The draft list of emergency plant pests was reviewed by industry representatives and relevant experts, who ranked their potential threat based on entry, establishment, spread and economic criteria. Issues such as how easy would it be for this pest to enter Australia, become established and spread, and if it did become
Marginal scorching of leaves with Almond leaf scorch. Note: Salt burn looks similar however is usually concentrated at leaf tips and does not have a yellow margin to necrotic area. (Photo: Jack Kelly Clark, UCDavis).
The payoff Risk management enables us to be prepared and to avoid the problems that have happened overseas where a particular pest has devastated entire crops/orchards, cut off overseas and local trade and left growers financially crippled. By listing our top pest risks, knowing how to spot suspicious signs on-farm, being able to accurately diagnose them and then knowing how to eradicate them – we are as prepared as we can be. Rod Turner, PHA‟s acting CEO, Programs said, “Critical in this process has been establishing the priority pests list within the Industry Biosecurity Plan. It would be tragic if industries were preparing themselves for something that did not pose a big risk and
download it at www.planthealthaustralia.com.au
and follow the links to “Project Documents” and “Biosecurity Plans” or request it on disk by emailing email@example.com or phone Plant Health Australia on 02 6260 4322.
established, how serious would be the impact on productivity, profits, quarantine, trade and the community, were considered. A Threat Summary Table was developed to capture all of this information.