Australian potato growers are being urged to renew their focus on on-farm biosecurity, including developing a biosecurity plan to reduce both the impact of destructive endemic pests and the likelihood of new pests being introduced onto their farms.
Following the recent incursion of tomato-potato psyllid in Western Australia, industry body AUSVEG is asking potato growers around the country to review their biosecurity arrangements and identify areas for improvement.
“Good biosecurity practices reduce the likelihood of new pests being introduced or spreading onto a farm, and they can also reduce the impact of endemic pests which a farm may already be dealing with,” said AUSVEG National Manager – Science and Extension Dr Jessica Lye.
“Most farm biosecurity plans already contain several common practices, such as signs with contact details for the farm manager or showing visitors where to park to avoid spreading infected soil. However, growers should also undertake risk assessments and identify any priority areas that require further attention.
“Maintaining farm biosecurity requires ongoing action from growers, including following appropriate guidelines for vehicle and visitor movements, providing adequate training and hygiene supplies to staff and contractors, and routine crop monitoring.
“Given the potentially devastating impacts that the spread of pests could have on individual growing operations and the industry as a whole, developing a clear, consistent biosecurity plan for your farm has long-lasting benefits.”
Any unusual plant pest should be reported immediately to the relevant state or territory agriculture agency through the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881).