NY17009 UPDATE – the value in Integrated Pest Management

Monday, 27 July 2020

The levy-funded project ‘Improving pest management for the nursery industry’ (NY17009) is a two-year program aiming to provide production nurseries with a cost-benefit analysis on the implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices and elements.

Since the project began in 2019, seven production nurseries across five states who specialise in different areas of plant production, have begun implementing key elements of a structured and rigorous Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program into their business.

Data collected over the course of this project includes:

  • Cost of labour to spray for the treatment of pests and disease
  • Cost of chemicals to spray for the treatment of pests and disease
  • Time spent treating pest and disease
  • Labour cost associated with releasing biological control measures
  • Cost of biological organisms
  • Cost of discarded products (throw-outs)
  • Cost of discarded product (throw-outs) due to pest and disease damage

Hitting its first-year milestone, the project team at Greenlife Industry Australia have collated preliminary data, providing an initial glimpse into the cost range of managing plant pests across the seven production nursery categories.

Some of the baseline findings include:

  • Average cost of chemical spraying per year is $11,100 per hectare (inclusive of labour and chemical costs)
  • Average cost of biological controls per year is $4,600 per hectare (inclusive of labour and biological organism cost)
  • Average lost revenue attributed to pest and disease of $18,100 per hectare per year

Throughout the second year of the project the project team will be tracking improvements made to the bottom line of these nurseries due to the implementation of IPM practices.

While each participating production nursery is implementing site surveillance, import and despatch inspections in their business, Greenlife Industry Australia has engaged Biological Services to perform crop monitoring at frequencies dependant on crop type and in line with BioSecure HACCP crop monitoring requirements.

At the conclusion of the project in 2021, the project team will compare data collected around the level of pest and disease management by each business, providing a cost-benefit analysis on the implementation of structured IPM programs in production nurseries.

Access to this information will provide insights into the financial value of implementing IPM in production nurseries, helping determine the level of profitability that can be achieved through lowered costs of managing pest and disease.

If you have any questions about this project or data, contact Celeste Cook at: [email protected]

BioSecure Manual available at www.nurseryproductionfms.com.au