Projects to support a grower-led plant health system

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Growers in the Australian nursery industry are set to benefit from a number of projects aimed at enhancing on-farm crop monitoring, plant protection skills and pest identification and surveillance.

This includes a newly contracted initiative by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), as well as a suite of levy-funded projects commissioned by Hort Innovation.

Together, the projects will strengthen the industry’s plant protection and biosecurity efforts and provide growers with the latest tools to protect against, and prepare for, plant pests and diseases.

Improving pest management for the nursery industry (NY17009)

In an exciting move for the industry, this project will demonstrate the ‘return on investment’ for growers who adopt a consistent and well-monitored IPM system over a number of years.

With the help of external pest scouts, the project examines the cost/benefit of introducing crop monitoring under an IPM program, across seven different production nurseries, ranging from ornamentals to advanced trees.

An additional component of NY17009 is a report on neonicotinoids, which assesses varying scientific and social license issues relating to the chemicals, and lists potential alternatives.

To find out more about the project, click here.

National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004)

Under the industry’s overarching biosecurity program, there are two new Minor Use Permits recently issued by the APVMA to the Australian nursery industry.

Known as ‘Transform Insecticide, PER87434’ and ‘Success Neo, PER87433’ the recently authorised chemicals help to manage pests such as the Thrips and Tomato Potato Psyllid.

For a copy of the permits, click here.

Building biosecurity capacity and resilience (NY15002)

The Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (QDAF) will be holding a number of practical workshops on Integrated Pest Management from June onwards.

Aimed at growers and production managers, the workshops have a real, practical focus on implementing or refining IPM techniques in the nursery.

To register for an upcoming workshop, click here.

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (External)

Funded by the DAWR, a new suite of biosecurity projects will equip growers with the latest technologies to implement a stronger, more robust plant health system across the production nursery.

In particular, the projects will:

  • Enhance the capability and efficiency for growers to electronically record crop monitoring and site surveillance outcomes
  • Allow crop monitoring and site surveillance electronic data to be synced into a national surveillance database
  • Improve the crop monitoring data by improving the content of electronic pest identification resources (Pest ID Tool –; and
  • Develop innovative web-based immersive training module for crop monitoring and surveillance staff through virtual reality/augmented reality software.

NGIA will lead the DAWR projects, and with assistance from the NT Government, NGIA will roll out additional plant protection/biosecurity workshops in Northern Australia later in 2019.

Growers can keep up to date with the latest progress and outcomes of the DAWR projects by visiting the NGIA website: