Protecting Australian nurseries from the increasing threat of exotic pests and diseases will continue to be a key focus of nursery levy investment over the next five years, and is addressed by ‘Outcome 3’ of the industry’s latest Strategic Investment Plan (SIP).
Developed in consultation with growers and industry stakeholders, the plan sets out the crucial R&D and marketing priorities for 2017-21 and is designed to ensure a stronger, more sustainable nursery industry.
The focus on biosecurity is driven by globalisation and a growing number of pathways to entry which heighten the risk of pest and disease issues and incursions.
The SIP highlights the importance of protecting the nursery industry’s assets against these rising global threats and explains that the best way to do this is through planning and prevention.
Understanding the risks, using surveillance for preparedness and reviewing the industry’s biosecurity plans are just some of the strategies that could be used to prevent pests from entering the country.
Testing and modifying the current plans and ensuring communication is clear, concise and correct will also provide greater assurance that industry can act quickly and effectively in the case of an emergency.
Another key deliverable of outcome 3 is the need for growers to have access to the latest information on how they can improve their pest, disease and weed management, so as to minimise risks on-farm.
Greater cooperation between government and industry is a powerful tool in ensuring this flow of information and that growers are up-to-date on the status of biosecurity threats and any legislative changes that impact on their farm operations.
Ongoing investment in the best practice biosecurity program, BioSecure HACCP, continues to be a key focus for the industry, so as to ensure consistency across the sector and more streamlined domestic market access.
Greater adoption and awareness of BioSecure HACCP will enable industry to work with State Governments more effectively, and lead to greater productivity gains within nurseries by allowing growers to self-certify and lodge electronic records.
Minor Use Permits
Lastly, the outcome outlines that growers need access to safe and reliable chemicals through the Minor Use Permit program, which they can use when faced with specific pests, weeds and diseases.
Being such a diverse industry – it’s important that producers of smaller crops still have access to effective control methods now and into the future.
There are two current nursery levy funded projects that are in operation in the area of nursery biosecurity. They are:
NY15002 – Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian Production Nursery Industry – Project Leader Andrew Manners.
NY15004 – National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program – Project Leader John McDonald.
Both projects go a long way to achieving outcome 3 of the SIP – Improved industry protection from exotic, emerging and endemic pests and disease. But grower and nursery stakeholder input on how to improve the projects can help realign them or come up with new projects.
Have Your Say
Biosecurity is something all nurseries need to be acutely aware of and integrate into everyday operations and decision making. In today’s market environment, it remains one of the most vital, but challenging, areas for the entire supply chain.
In order to remain ahead of the curve, and to best protect Australia’s nursery industry, it needs a collaborative and coordinated approach, which is why industry is urging growers to have their say on future levy investment.
Whether it be specific biosecurity workshops, resources or updates – tell us what you think the industry needs to stay ahead of the curve, by visiting www.horticulture.com.au/nursery and lodging your idea or contacting NGIA or your State NGI Office.
- Strategic Investment Plan 2017-21
- Part 1 of the SIP series: lifting domestic demand for green life
- Part 2 of the SIP Series: Understanding the market through better insights
- Lodge a project idea: Hort Innovation Concept Pipeline.