The AUSVEG Farm Biosecurity Project is co-managed by Plant Health Australia and AUSVEG. The project was initiated in 2018 and since then, aims to improve the management of and preparedness for biosecurity risks in the vegetable and potato industries at the farm gate and industry level.

The key objectives of the project include:

  • Raising awareness of priority pest threats to the vegetable and potato industries,
  • Increasing and improving the use of on-farm biosecurity measures (Click here for more information),
  • Providing practical information for the improvement of on-farm biosecurity, and
  • Integrating on-farm biosecurity best management practices.

Other goals of the program include:

  • Increasing industry biosecurity risk preparedness and response mechanisms by working with industry, state and federal government to improve biosecurity awareness, reporting and communicating pest issues and threats,
  • Developing innovative RD&E programs that improve industries ability to respond to biosecurity threats, and
  • Representing industry so that government is adequately and accurately informed of their biosecurity needs and priorities.

In order to achieve these project aims, two Biosecurity Officers (BOs) are employed by AUSVEG to deliver the program. The BOs facilitate biosecurity seminars, workshops, webinars and farm visits for industry stakeholders including growers, industry leaders, agronomists, consultants, research personnel and technical officers.

In 2018, the BOs begun a one-year urban biosecurity pilot program (Click here to read more about the pilot program). This pilot was initiated as it was recognised that a significant number of the last major pest incursions affecting the vegetable industry were detected in Australia’s cities and urban environments, rather than regional production areas. After the success of the pilot program, urban biosecurity awareness activities are now an area where the BOs devote resources and time in order to facilitate early detection and reporting of suspected exotic plant pests in our major cities before they can impact the vegetable and potato industries.

The BOs communicate relevant biosecurity related information via a number of channels such as the AUSVEG Weekly Update, the Front Line e-Bulletin, the Front Line column in Vegetables Australia and Potatoes Australia, and a project dedicated Twitter account @biosecurityveg.

For more information, please contact the AUSVEG Biosecurity Officers at science@ausveg.com.au or call 03 9882 0277.

AUSVEG Biosecurity Coordinator, Callum Fletcher, presents on farm biosecurity and key pest and disease threats in Darwin, NT in January 2019. (Photo: AUSVEG)