Surveillance of tomato potato psyllid in the Eastern States and South Australia
Since 2011, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has operated a surveillance program to monitor for incursions of TPP in eastern Australian processing potato crops using yellow sticky traps.
Funding for that initial project was extended to June 2017, and then again to June 2018. After the discovery of TPP in Western Australia, the project scope was also broadened to include fresh potatoes and other solanaceous crops.
This final report covers the phase of the project that ran from 2017 to 2018.
Over the period covered in the report, more than 3,000 sticky traps were sent to participants in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Nearly 50 per cent of these traps were returned to TIA for screening, with no TPP detections during the trapping period, supporting continued assurance of Area of Freedom status for industry stakeholders.
While they were deployed, the traps caught more than 6,400 native psyllids. Interestingly, they also caught low numbers of potential psyllid predators – predominantly lacewings (Hemerobiidae) and ladybirds (Coccinellidae). This data provides a valuable baseline estimate of their present abundance in host crops that are free of TPP.
By appointing a dedicated project coordinator to organise an enhanced network of traps and liaise with an expanded industry base, this levy-funded project enabled a more coordinated approach to state surveillance activities which will continue to pay dividends in future.