The Department of Agriculture and Food has confirmed two new detections of tomato potato psyllid (TPP) since the last update on 12 April.
The psyllid has been confirmed on a total of 73 properties/locations, of which 41 are commercial horticulture properties, mostly in the metropolitan control zone.
There has been no detection of the associated bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) to date.
Transition to management
The National Management Group (NMG) is the decision making body for national exotic plant pest eradication programs under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD).
A NMG meeting was held on Thursday 20 April.
The group agreed that TPP is no longer technically feasible to eradicate and additional surveillance will take place to provide confidence that the associated bacteria CLso is not present in Australia. The group has agreed to the development of a transition to management plan.
The department is working with industry and national partners to develop the transition to management plan, to prepare industry (in WA and nationally) to manage this pest, with a focus on limiting the spread of the psyllid and minimising the impact on affected industries. This work includes identifying key areas where further research and information is required to improve management outcomes and market access.
The national Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) will continue to meet while the transition to management plan is developed in consultation with affected industry groups.
The department will continue to keep the horticulture industry informed of further developments.
A link to the NMG communique is here.
The department is working closely with the horticulture industry to reduce the impacts of TPP on businesses and the WA economy.
Quarantine Area Notice
A Quarantine Area Notice in Western Australia remains in place to help prevent the spread of the psyllid.
It includes zones to direct the movement and treatment of commercially-produced vegetables and seedlings, to help contain and control the pest.
A control zone covers the Perth metropolitan area and surrounds; a suppression zone extends from Augusta-Margaret River in the south to Dandaragan in the north and to Brookton in the east; and a watch zone is in place 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. 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.
The Quarantine Area Notice will remain in place until a cost benefit analysis for area freedom for TPP in WA is completed and discussed with industry.
Surveillance and testing update
Surveillance for the psyllid and the CLso bacteria is continuing.
Department officers have inspected more than 1200 properties across the State. This includes more than 530 commercial horticulture and retail properties.
There have been more than 500 properties surveyed in the outer watch zone, encompassing Albany, Carnarvon and Geraldton, with no detections of the psyllid or CLso.
More than 7000 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 8800 plant samples have been tested for CLso, and more than 22000 tuber samples have had the ‘zebra chip screening’ with no detection of CLso.
New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland 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.
South Australia has introduced new restrictions on a broader range of plant material which came into effect on Thursday 20 April. Dried plants, seed (other than potato), mulch, timber, chaff and hay are exempt from these conditions.
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. Full details of the entry conditions are updated on the NSW, Victorian and South Australian department websites.
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.
The department’s market access team is developing proposed protocols and is in dialogue with other states to facilitate interstate trade for Western Australian host and non-host produce as quickly as possible.
Check and report
Commercial horticulture producers, particularly in regional areas, should 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 www.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