Farm Management

Growers can ‘pic out’ invasive pests

Yarra Valley fruit growers have better access to more timely information regarding grape phylloxera infestations in the region.

The Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and the Yarra Valley Wine Growers Association (YVWGA) have been working together to provide newly affected growers with vital information they can use to manage the pest.

YVWGA President Mark O’Callaghan said registering vineyards on the Property Identification Code (PIC) system will ensure growers are notified of all biosecurity events in the region, including grapevine phylloxera detections.

“A PIC is a unique eight-character code allocated to a property owner to enable Agriculture Victoria to quickly alert them in the event of a plant pest infestation or disease outbreaks that may impact their business,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

Grape phylloxera detections in the Maroondah Phylloxera Infested Zone (PIZ) have been a regular occurrence since the zone was first declared in 2006, with fifteen detections of grapevine phylloxera since November 2015.

“It is a grower’s responsibility to maintain or improve biosecurity management on their property, and to ensure their business is not left exposed to the damaging effects of a plant pest or disease outbreak, so registering for a PIC is an effective way to respond to a grape phylloxera infestation in the region,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“PICs are considered to be the most viable option for enabling the flow of this sort of information to growers.

Mr O’Callaghan is urging all vineyard owners to register with Agriculture Victoria for a plant PIC.

“Grapevine growers also need to remember that the application for a PIC is a legal obligation for your industry so I urge all vineyard owners who grow 0.5 hectares or more of grapes to do their bit and register with Agriculture Victoria.”

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