New nursery project offers free diagnostics to production nurseries

Friday, 6 August 2021

Led by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF), the levy funded ‘Resourcing, supporting, and assessing biosecurity in nursery production’ (NY20000) project is underway.

This project is building on the success of ‘Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry’ (NY15002) and past projects, to provide greater support to production nurseries to help reduce the risk of infestations and crop losses associated with pest and diseases.

Through the project, all commercial production nurseries receive six free diagnostic samples each year of the project (2021-2025) via the diagnostic service, Grow Help Australia. Included in the testing are molecular identifications, where knowledge of the exact species will help growers to manage the incursion more effectively. This service continues to help growers minimise losses and total discarded plants, and better manage and prevent future outbreaks. Any additional samples submitted are then charged at a much-reduced cost.

Working to continue supporting industry in pest and disease management, education and biosecurity, this project also has a large research component to better understand the effect of nursery practice on post-sale plant health. This will involve assessing the effect of hygiene on pest and disease incidence to better understand the value of best practice management of nursery stock.

The project will continue producing new resources (factsheets, management plans, Nursery Papers and webinars) on various pests, diseases and plant health issues to be included in the Australia Plant Production Standard. In addition, old factsheets and pest management plans will also be updated. These resources will be highlighted through various means including the Your Levy @ Work website and eNewsletter.

Keep an eye out for more updates to come.

If you have any queries, please contact project lead and DAF Principal Entomologist, Horticulture and Forestry Science, Andrew Manners, at: andrew.manners@daf.qld.gov.au.

The ‘Resourcing, supporting, and assessing biosecurity in nursery production’ (NY20000) projects are funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery industry levy, funds from the Australian Government and Queensland Government.