Hygiene focus in Tassie

Vinehealth Australia is spreading messages of best practice biosecurity, with the latest educational trip to Tasmania.

CEO Inca Pearce and Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin were invited to present at VINfo Tasmania 2017, held at Tamar Ridge earlier this month. Inca and Suzanne ran a practical workshop on farm-gate hygiene, demonstrating 10 farm-gate hygiene tips for growers.

“We went through the Footwear and Small Hand Tool Disinfestation Protocol including the equipment you need and how best to set up the station. We also shared some of the signs and posters in development for our upcoming Responsible Visitation Campaign, aimed at wine tourists,” said Suzanne McLoughlin.

“We also discussed the consequences of ‘doing nothing’ – the impact that could have on others in your region or state, given the connectivity of our industry.”

The Vinehealth Australia team also spoke about spotting symptoms of unusual vine issues, as part of a session on rare viticultural problems. “We talked about what to do if you spot something unusual –take photos, record where the issue is in your vineyard/property, mark the spot, seek help before you remove anything from your vineyard/property so you don’t spread it, and call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline,” Suzanne said.

Inca delivered a talk on ‘The changing biosecurity landscape’, which is intensifying. “Increased global trade and tourism, agricultural expansion and intensification, urbanisation and climate change are increasing our biosecurity exposure,” she said.

“Coupled with changing government and industry priorities, increased scrutiny from trading partners during market access negotiations and wine industry specific factors, plant biosecurity is at a critical juncture.”

Phylloxera is being detected in more vineyards in Victoria. And Australia has experienced a doubling in the number of exotic plant pest incursions in the past seven years.

“How are you sharing the responsibility of protecting your vines and the industry?” Inca asked participants at VINfo. “Is your business resilient – would it withstand a biosecurity shock? Can you risk not doing anything?”

If you would like Suzanne or Inca to visit your region to talk about farm-gate hygiene or biosecurity, phone (08) 8273 0550 or email .

Vinehealth Australia Technical Manager Suzanne McLoughlin demonstrating footwear disinfestation in Tasmania.