Implementing effective IPM using BioSecure HACCP procedures

Thursday, 11 June 2020

The levy funded ‘Improving pest management for the nursery industry’ (NY17009) project has moved into the second phase, seeking to perform a cost benefit analysis on the implementation of elements of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program in production nurseries.

The project team at Greenlife Industry Australia have partnered with Biological Services, who will be using their expertise in pests and diseases, crop lifecycle, population thresholds and methods for management, to perform crop monitoring for the project and making recommendations to participating production nurseries.

During this phase, the seven participating production nurseries will begin implementing the four BioSecure HACCP procedures for ‘site surveillance’, ‘crop monitoring’, ‘materials import inspections’ and ‘materials dispatch inspections’ into their businesses.

The BioSecure HACCP procedures employed in this project will inform growers of the pest status within their crops at any given time, allowing for better decision making when selecting the most appropriate IPM management method.

How BioSecure HACCP procedures inform a robust IPM strategy

Crop monitoring is an integral component of effective IPM that if done correctly, is likely to detect a pest infestation as low as 5%.

A detailed monitoring program is performed at a specific frequency, depending on the crop type and time of year. It requires a skilled person to move randomly, in a ‘Z’ pattern, through the crop, selecting samples of similar plant type, and inspecting a predetermined number of these (minimum of 35) for indicators of plant pests and diseases.

Regular crop monitoring allows production nurseries to identify pests, diseases and weeds, early enough to mitigate incursion risks that cause costly damage. Maintaining accurate records of results and pest management decisions then forms a strong knowledge base which can be used to inform future pest management decisions, particularly for annual seasonal forecasting ahead of pest incursions.

In addition to crop monitoring, further plant protection support is offered through the BioSecure HACCP site surveillance, materials imported and dispatch inspection procedures, which prevent the movement of pests and diseases into and out of production nurseries and establishment in non-cropping areas. This is done through detailed inspections of incoming and outgoing plants, plant parts or propagules, using a statistically sound sampling rate and methods of inspection.

Implementing these four BioSecure HACCP procedures forms a strong foundation for effective IPM, mitigating the risk of infestation, plant damage and market loss, and has shown to boost productivity gains in production nurseries.

Key identification resources such as the Pest ID Tool are essential for effective crop monitoring.

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