Webinars: Identifying mites and viruses

Webinars are being held to help with the identification of the major pest mite groups likely to be encountered in a production nursery; and the steps to take once virus-like symptoms are identified to confirm if a virus is present.

The presenters will be Andrew Manners and John Duff, from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), who collectively have over 45 years of experience in pest and disease management.

The webinars are being held as part of the nursery levy funded project Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry (NY15002), a collaborative project between Nursery and Garden Industry Australia, Horticulture Innovation Australia and DAF.

Mite identification and management
Date: 27 April 2017, 10am
Mites are small to minute and can be either pests or predators. Some groups of mites are relatively easy to identify at a general level, such as spider mites. However, other groups are more obscure and so tiny that a devoted microscope is required to observe them with confidence.

This webinar will cover the major pest mite groups likely to be encountered in a production nursery, including spider mites, tarsonemid mites (broad mite and cyclamen mite), flat mites and eriophyid mites. Management of these groups is best completed using many strategies; cultural strategies to reduce pest populations, biological and chemical applications.

Predatory mites are also relatively easy to observe and there are many species that are commercially available as biological control agents against other mites, thrips, whiteflies and fungus gnats. These species will be discussed including how to integrate cultural, biological and chemical management options to reduce pest mite populations.

Virus identification, vectors and management
Date: 18 May 2017, 10am
Plant viruses can cause serious economic loss, resulting in deformed or unusual growth that may cause plants to become unsaleable.

Unfortunately, virus symptoms can be very similar to that caused by a variety of other factors including nutrient deficiencies, adverse environmental and growing conditions, genetic disorders, misapplication of plant growth regulators and herbicides, certain pest infestations and sometimes even infection caused by bacterial or fungal pathogens. As such, viruses are often blamed when the problem is from another factor.

This webinar will discuss how to identify virus-like symptoms and steps to confirm if a virus is present. Production nurseries are in a strong position to manage viruses and these strategies will also be discussed, with strong emphasis on virus vectors and other mechanisms of spread.

Project Code: NY15002

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