The Department of Agriculture and Food has confirmed four new detections of tomato potato psyllid since the last Update on 3 April. This includes a retail property in Margaret River, two commercial horticulture properties in Manjimup and on a roadside verge in Chittering. The psyllid has been confirmed on a total of 71 properties/locations, of which 42 are commercial horticulture properties, mostly in the metropolitan control zone.
There have been 15 detections in regional areas including Balingup, Busselton, Margaret River, Yarloop and Manjimup.
There has been no detection of the associated bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum CLso.
Surveillance and testing
Vital surveillance for the psyllid and the CLso bacteria is continuing. Department officers have inspected more than 1000 properties across the State. This includes more than 340 commercial horticulture and retail properties.
There have been more than 450 properties surveyed in the outer Watch Zone, encompassing Albany, Carnarvon and Geraldton, with no detections of the psyllid or CLso.
More than 5800 surveillance ‘sticky’ traps have been installed in regional and metropolitan areas. Many traps are being ‘hosted’ by supportive residents with home vegetable gardens. Traps are collected for analysis by the department and inspected for the psyllid. Psyllids are tested for the CLso bacteria.
The department has completed TPP/CLso surveillance of all commercial seedling nurseries in the Quarantine Area and is sampling all commercial seed potato properties. More than 4900 plant samples have been tested for CLso, and more than 6500 tuber samples have had the ‘zebra chip screening’ with no detection of CLso.
More than 110 department officers are working on the national response plan which includes emergency containment measures for tomato potato psyllid and increased testing and monitoring for the associated CLso bacteria.
A Quarantine Area Notice remains in place to help prevent the spread of the psyllid. It includes the establishment of three zones to direct the movement and treatment of commercially-produced vegetables and seedlings and is a vital part of the national response to contain and control the pest.
A control zone covers the Perth metropolitan area and surrounds, bordered by a suppression zone which extends from Augusta-Margaret River in the south to Dandaragan in the north and to Brookton in the east, and a watch zone for the remainder of the State.
Alternative protocols for intrastate host plant (seedling) movement from the quarantine area and an approved manner of preparation for movement from the quarantine area have been developed. See department web page for full details. Detailed information in relation to movement and treatment requirements for specified zones under the Quarantine Area Notice is available from www.agric.wa.gov.au/tpp
New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory have emergency interstate movement controls in place for tomato potato psyllid and Candidatus liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) host fruit, vegetables and plant material, and used machinery and equipment from WA.
NSW and Victoria introduced additional restrictions in late March on a much broader range of conditional non-host plants and produce. Victoria has since amended these restrictions to exempt dried plant products; seed; mulch; timber; chaff and hay from treatment and certification for entering Victoria. It is expected the Victorian conditions will be published shortly. Full details of the entry conditions are updated on the NSW and Victorian department websites.
The department has created a specific market access team to negotiate proposed protocols to facilitate interstate trade for Western Australian host and non-host produce as quickly as possible. Senior officers travelled to Sydney this week to discuss the restrictions which are having a significant economic impact on Western Australia’s horticulture producers and industry.
Please check the latest interstate trade requirements in relation to plant material and produce. Exporters should contact the Quarantine WA Exports Officer to verify export requirements: Phone: 9334 1800, Fax: 9334 1880, Email: email@example.com
Check and report
Commercial vegetable producers, particularly in regional areas, are urged to check for signs of the psyllid and report via MyPestGuide Reporter app, email or phone.
Good farm biosecurity procedures should be in place to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. More information on biosecurity is available at the Farm Biosecurity website farmbiosecurity.com.au
Industry contacts for growers
Phone: 08 9481 0834
Potato Growers Association of WA
Phone: (08) 9481 0834
Nursery and Garden Industry Western Australia
Matthew Lunn, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 0410 714 207
Department of Agriculture and Food, WA
Rohan Prince, Industry Liaison
Phone: 0429 680 069
Don Telfer, Industry Liaison
Phone: 0429 014 063
Further information and general enquiries
More information is available from the department website agric.wa.gov.au/tpp
Pest and Disease Information Service
Phone: 1800 084 881