DAFWA Tomato-potato psyllid update

Tomato-potato psyllid Industry Update June 2018

The national Transition to management plan aimed to improve the capacity of the horticulture sector to manage TPP, and build confidence around the status of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) associated with TPP.

Transitioning to management followed national agreement TPP cannot be eradicated and efforts should focus on management.

The Transition to management plan was a national project seeking to benefit both Western Australia where TPP has been detected, and other states not yet managing TPP. The Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development led the implementation of the plan, working closely with industry and the national TPP coordinator appointed through AUSVEG.

The plan included the following major activities:

  • Targeted surveillance for TPP/CLso complex during Spring 2017 and Autumn 2018 in WA
  • Scientific research to improve understanding of TPP, its biology and options for control
  • Management of TPP through the development of national and enterprise management plans
  • Market access and trade.

There have been no detections of CLso in Western Australia to date.

Other states around Australia have also implemented surveillance for TPP. To date, TPP has not been detected outside of Western Australia.

The department is currently compiling the results from the Transition to management plan and will make these available to growers, industries, and state and federal governments as soon as possible. Outcomes from the Transition to management plan will help inform future TPP/CLso research, development and management strategies.

For more information about the plan please contact the National TPP Coordinator, Alan Nankivell on +61 428 260 430  or alan.nankivell@ausveg.com.au.

Click here to view the full update.

Quarantine Area Notice

A new Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) with revised conditions is effective as of 1 November 2017. This replaces the previous QAN which expired on 31 October 2017.

The QAN was developed in consultation with WA’s horticultural industry and applies to commercially-produced and home-grown host plants or nursery stock grown within the Quarantine Area. The new QAN refines and simplifies previous control measures, and aims to minimise the spread of TPP in Western Australia.

Prescribed treatment is required for host plants, such as seedlings or nursery stock, where they are moving from the Quarantine Area to Specified local government areas in Western Australia.

The Quarantine Area includes the Perth metropolitan area and a number of local government areas. See the full list here.

Check and report

Commercial growers are encouraged to continue to check for, and report sightings of unusual insects or damage to their plants through the MyPestGuide reporter app or by contracting the department on 1800 084 881

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.

For more information on any issues relating to the TPP incursion, please see the DAFWA website.

Advice for growers

TPP can spread through the movement of tomato, capsicum, eggplant, tamarillo and other solanaceous plant material. It can also occur on other hosts including the Convolvulaceae plant family, including sweetpotato, and can disperse through natural pathways such as flight and on the wind. All Western Australian growers of affected crops should check their plants for TPP. More information about the psyllid and the bacterium, including photos to assist with identification, are available on DAFWA’s website.

Any suspected detection of TPP needs to be reported using the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on

1800 084 881 or using DAFWA’s MyPestGuide reporting app.

If you suspect you have seen the psyllid outside of Western Australia, you need to contact your state or territory department of agriculture or primary industries. This can be done by phoning the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

As a general reminder, all growers need to practice sound farm biosecurity to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. Find out more here.

Interstate trade/market access

For more information on interstate trade/market access, click here.

Dickeya dianthicola

What is Dickeya dianthicola

Dickeya dianthicola is a serious bacterium that can cause tuber soft rot and blackleg in potatoes, and can also affect some ornamental varieties, chicory and artichoke.

The bacteria was detected in Australia, for the first time, in June 2017 on a Western Australian commercial potato property. In addition to seed potatoes, the bacteria has since been found in dahlia tubers and freesia bulbs imported from Victoria.

Growers of these crops are urged to check plants and tubers, and report any suspect symptoms.

It is a serious pest (bacterium) that was not previously known to occur in Australia. Overseas data has indicated significant yield losses in potato crops.

Dickeya dianthicola can also infect other crops, including some ornamentals (including carnation, lily, chrysanthemum, dahlia, begonia, flaming Katy, freesia, hyacinth and iris), globe arichoke and chicory.

Other pathogens already present in Australia can cause similar soft rot and blackleg symptoms. However, Dickeya dianthicola is more aggressive and causes disease at lower infection levels.

This pest is not associated with the tomato potato psyllid.

Current response

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), in conjunction with the Western Australian potato industry, will implement a management strategy for Dickeya dianthicola following a national decision that it cannot be eradicated.

The National Management Group (NMG) decision that the pest is not technically feasible to eradicate is based on the recommendation provided by the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests.

Quarantine restrictions on five commercial properties in WA have been lifted.

Further tracing activities are being undertaken in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and WA, including testing of available potato tubers, dahlia tubers in Victoria and WA, and freesia bulbs from Victoria.

The Potato Growers Association of WA (PGAWA) will lead management efforts to minimise industry impacts. This will include raising grower awareness of buyer responsibility to understand the risks of spread.

DPIRD will provide technical advice, fee for service laboratory testing and will work with PGAWA to modify the Certified Seed Scheme and Registration Rules to manage the disease.

There are currently no additional interstate trade restrictions being considered for potatoes apart from those restrictions in place for the tomato potato psyllid.

The international market access for WA potatoes remains unaffected.

Trade in cut flowers from WA is already subject to interstate movement conditions for other pests.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will work with overseas trading partners should any issues arise.

The bacterium does not have an impact on human health.

For more information, visit the DPIRD website.

Host list

  • Potatoes
  • Globe artichoke
  • Chicory
  • Begonia
  • Calla lily
  • Carnation
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Dahlia
  • Dianthus, Sweet William
  • Freesia
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Kalanchoe, ‘Flaming Katy’ which is also known as ‘Christmas kalanchoe’, ‘florist kalanchoe’ and ‘Madagascar widow’s thrill’


The first symptom of the disease can be poor emergence due to rotting seed tubers. Plants wilt and typically have slimy, wet, black stems extending upwards from the rotting tuber.

Infected tubers are macerated and have a tapioca-like appearance, but may not have the pungent smell associated with typical blackleg.

According to overseas data, Dickeya dianthicola can also cause soft rot and wilting in ornamental crops.

Dickeya dianthicola can be present in a plant without causing symptoms, particularly if temperatures remain low. Symptoms often develop after a period of hot weather, especially when plants are also stressed.

How does it spread?

In potatoes, it is generally accepted the main source for blackleg infection is latently infected seed tubers.

Overseas data indicates that as infected tubers rot, the bacterium is released into the soil. It can then be transmitted through water in the soil and contaminates neighbouring tubers, and infected stems can also affect neighbouring plants through contaminated irrigation water.

Additionally, infection has been shown to spread to other tubers during storage. Overseas research indicates that Dickeya dianthicola does not survive long in soil without a host. Although bacteria can survive between potato crops in soil when there is remaining plant debris or when volunteer potatoes are present.

Management options

Generalised management techniques developed for soft rot diseases in potatoes may be useful for growers affected by Dickeya dianthicola. Refer to the soft rot web pages for further information.

Additionally, on-farm biosecurity practices, such as good farm hygiene and early reporting of suspicious symptoms should be in place to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. Practical advice and information to assist is available through the Farm Biosecurity website farmbiosecurity.com.au

Reporting options

Dickeya dianthicola (Samson et al. 2005) is a prohibited organism for Western Australia. It is important any suspect disease occurrences are reported.

Growers can report any unusual plant symptoms by:

  • Calling the Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881, or
  • Sending a photo to DPIRD via the MyPestGuide Reporter app available from the Google Play or Apple store, or
  • Emailing photos with your name, address and mobile number to info@agric.wa.gov.au

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB)

The brown marmorated stink bug is a high priority pest which is known to arrive in Australia in cargo coming from the northern hemisphere between September and April each year.

BMSB feeds on more than 300 host crops. Preferred vegetable crops include capsicums, sweet corn, okra, tomatoes, green beans, eggplant and others. The pest is native to eastern Asia but has been introduced to parts of North America and Europe.


Click here to access a factsheet that provides more information on the BMSB.

Click here to access the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Import Industry Advice Notices


14 September 2018 – 116-2018 – Expected delays under 2018-19 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) seasonal measures

Who does this notice affect?

Clients in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, importers and customs brokers—associated with importing goods during the 2018-19 BMSB risk season (shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive) especially goods that require increased intervention.

What has changed?

The department has implemented the seasonal measures for the 2018-19 BMSB risk season for certain goods shipped to Australia between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive.

This season’s measures to include goods manufactured in, or shipped from an expanded list of target risk countries is likely to result in extensive clearance delays at the border. Further, the additional workload associated with BMSB related clearances is likely to impact the department’s capacity to meet published service standards in the Client Service Charter more broadly. The greatest impact is expected to be in ports in Sydney and Melbourne.  This is due to a combination of factors, including the identification of treated and untreated containerised cargo, limited onshore capacity of storage facilities at approved arrangement sites and onshore treatment provider premises, and implementation of manual processes to accommodate industry’s request to allow onshore treatment option for LCL consignments.

The department has sought to address the additional workload by creating additional capacity to assist with the expected demand.  However, given the number of variables in estimating workload, the department strongly recommends that industry adopt the following steps where possible, to manage the expected increased onshore delays.

  • Industry are strongly encouraged to have their target high risk goods treated by an approved OFFSHORE provider prior to arrival into Australia. For the current list of treatment providers, please see the Offshore BMSB treatment providers scheme. This list is being updated regularly as more providers become approved.
  • Cargo reports and Full Import Declarations (FIDs) should be lodged accurately and as early as possible. This will greatly assist with identifying and assessing goods for biosecurity risk, including those treated and untreated for BMSB risk.

The department will actively monitor workloads and will continue to work closely with industry.

Further information

For further information regarding the 2018-19 BMSB measures, visit the BMSB webpage www.agriculture.gov.au/bmsb or contact Air and Sea Cargo. ​

20 August 2018 – 99-2018 – Amendment to final measures for the 2018-19 Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) risk season

Who does this notice affect?

Clients in the import and shipping industries—including freight forwarders, importers and customs brokers—associated with importing goods that require increased intervention during the BMSB risk season (shipped between 1 September 2018 and 30 April 2019 inclusive).

What has changed?

To manage the risk posed by BMSB to Australia, the department has finalised the measures for the 2018-19 BMSB risk season for goods shipped to Australia between 1 September and 30 April inclusive. The final measures (including the list of the target goods) is available on the Seasonal Measures for BMSB webpage.

Onshore treatment options of target high risk goods shipped as containerised cargo in sealed six sided containers is now allowed for LCL (less than container load) and FAK (freight of all kind) containers. This is in addition to allowing onshore treatment of FCL (full container load) and FCX (full container consolidated) containers. All containerised cargo in sealed six sided containers may be treated on arrival in Australia provided the treatment is conducted at the container level. Deconsolidation or removal of goods will not be permitted prior to treatment.

The revised policy to allow onshore treatment of all sealed six-sided containerised cargo is based on consultation with peak industry bodies. The department notes that industry prefer to have both onshore and offshore treatment options.

Importers should note this revised policy is expected to result in increased clearance delays at the border due to identification of treated and non-treated containerised cargo, and limited onshore capacity of storage facilities at approved arrangement sites and onshore treatment provider premises.

To minimise clearance delays, industry are encouraged to have their target risk goods treated offshore and at container level, where possible. Cargo reports and Full Import Declarations (FIDs) should be lodged accurately and as early as possible to assist with identifying and assessing these containers.

More information of the measures including import and treatment requirements is available on the Seasonal Measures for BMSB webpage.

Industry information sessions

The department will conduct further information sessions in preparation for the 2018-19 BMSB season. These sessions will clarify any questions industry may have on the final measures. You can find out more information and register for these sessions.

Information sessions will be held in:

Sydney Tuesday 21 August 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Brisbane Thursday 23 August 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Webinar Thursday 23 August 1:00 pm –   4:00 pm
Melbourne Friday 24 August 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Further information

For further information regarding BMSB measures, visit the Seasonal Measures for BMSB webpage or contact Air and Sea Cargo.

CaLsol detection in imported parsley seed (NSW)

Current Situation

A bacterial plant pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CaLsol), has been detected in the Italian Giant variety of imported parsley seed. These seeds originated in France. However, they were imported through a supplier in Italy.

The bacterium does not often damage parsley plants but if spread, it may cause serious damage to Apiaceae crops including carrot, celery, chervil, fennel and parsnip.

Whilst this disorder is also spread by psyllids, these particular psyllids are not present in Australia, and it is not spread by the tomato-potato psyllid recently detected in Western Australia. This detection of the bacterium in parsley is not to be confused with zebra chip disease in potatoes, which is associated with the tomato-potato psyllid. Zebra chip is not known to occur in Australia.

Australia introduced emergency measures in April 2017, following detection in celery, parsley and parsnip seed overseas. Subsequently, seeds entering Australia require seed testing or hot water treatment prior to entry.

The parsley seeds in question were imported prior to the implementation of emergency measures in April 2017. This is the first time this bacterium has been detected in Australia. Currently, the NSW Department of Primary Industries is tracing the distribution of the seeds within NSW and to other jurisdictions, which will give an indication of their overall distribution.

The disease

CaLsol presents various symptoms:

Carrot – Leaf yellowing, bronze/red discolouration in the leaf, reduction in root size, root proliferation.

Celery – abnormal number of shoots, stem curling, yellowing.

Parsley and parsnip – yellowing, proliferation, redness of leaves.

Parsley grown from infected seeds does not pose a threat to human health. It is safe to eat.

Biosecurity and reporting

The Australian Government advises home gardeners to harvest and eat their parsley before it goes to seed.

If you are a plant wholesaler or obtained imported Italian Giant parsley seed before April 2017, contact your local department of primary industries or biosecurity agency through the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

It is important for commercial growers and home gardeners to be vigilant for new plant pests or disease symptoms.

Impatiens necrotic spot virus

Impatiens necrotic spot virus is an exotic plant pest which can infect more than 600 plant species, including many vegetable crops. The virus has similar biology to Tomato spotted wilt virus, which is widespread in Australia. Impatiens necrotic spot virus is not seed borne, however, it can be spread by western flower thrips (WFT), which are established in most states and territories across Australia. WFT larvae obtain the virus when they feed on infected host plants. Adult WFT then transmit the virus to healthy plants by direct feeding for 5-30 minutes. Other thrips have not been identified as vectors of Impatiens necrotic spot virus.

Symptoms of plants infected by Impatiens necrotic spot virus include stunted plant growth, ringspots, brown or purple spots on leaves or stems, plant death and others. Nevertheless, symptoms may vary between plants and some plants may be asymptomatic.

In March 2018, Impatiens necrotic spot virus was detected in lettuce on a farm near Camden in the Sydney basin. The virus was detected in Batavia lettuce and two varieties of Cos lettuce. It is unclear how the virus became introduced to the vegetable farm.

If you think that your crop might be infected with Impatiens necrotic spot virus, contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

For more information on the virus, visit the NSW DPI website.