Study re­veals sub­stan­tial biose­cu­rity risk of pests

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE -

A NEW study from the Plant Biose­cu­rity Co­op­er­a­tive Re­search Cen­tre has dis­cov­ered the risks of wind-borne pests to the citrus in­dus­try.

Plant Biose­cu­rity CRC’s Dr Kyla Fin­lay said the re­cent study found that long dis­tance ru­ral dis­per­sal is a sub­stan­tial and un­der­es­ti­mated biose­cu­rity risk and iden­ti­fied six im­por­tant nat­u­ral path­ways.

Dr Fin­lay is part of a project that will also build on the rec­om­men­da­tions of the study to re­view ex­ist­ing sur­veil­lance tech­niques and In­dus­try Biose­cu­rity Plans in re­spect to nat­u­rally dis­persed pests.

“Long dis­tance nat­u­ral dis­per­sal of pests is a sub­stan­tial and un­der­es­ti­mated biose­cu­rity risk,” Dr Fin­lay said.

“To im­prove our pre­pared­ness and early de­tec­tion of pests ar­riv­ing via wind dis­per­sal, this project will help to de­velop more tar­geted and timely sur­veil­lance sys­tems and iden­tify pre­pared­ness strate­gies and op­tions to as­sist end-users with man­ag­ing wind-borne pri­or­ity pest and pathogen threats.

“Through bet­ter tar­get­ing sur­veil­lance sys­tems, end-users will be able to im­ple­ment or im­prove the de­ploy­ment of sur­veil­lance within ar­eas and at times pre­dicted to have a high risk of pests ar­riv­ing by nat­u­ral dis­per­sal.

“This will re­sult in an im­prove­ment in the al­lo­ca­tion of lim­ited sur­veil­lance re­sources and will in­crease our chances of early de­tec­tion which will have a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic im­pact for both in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment.”

Dr Fin­lay will present the re­searches find­ings to a Citrus Aus­tralia grower’s fo­rum in Yanco, south­ern New South Wales, today.

Other speak­ers at the fo­rum are NSWDPI re­search phys­i­ol­o­gist, Tahir Kur­shid who will high­light promis­ing re­sults from an eval­u­a­tion project.

The fo­rum comes on top of a new cam­paign from Citrus Aus­tralia aimed at pro­mot­ing the ver­sa­til­ity of seed­less navel or­anges, as well as blood or­anges.

“With higher lev­els of vi­ta­mins C and A than reg­u­lar navel or­anges, the Cara Cara navel may look like a nor­mal navel orange on the out­side but hides a rich pink colour on the in­side due to the pres­ence of the an­tiox­i­dant ly­copene,” a spokesper­son for the or­gan­i­sa­tion said.

“It also has a de­li­cious sweet berry-like flavour.”

“The blood orange is dis­tinc­tively deep red on the in­side with a red blush on the out­side due to the pres­ence of the an­tiox­i­dant an­tho­cyanin. It nor­mally has an ex­cit­ing tangy rasp­berry note.

“The in­dus­try is even eval­u­at­ing a su­per sweet brown orange as part of its quest to in­no­vate the orange cat­e­gory – although this will not be avail­able in stores this year.”

Aus­tralian grow­ers are ex­pected to pro­duce about 300,000 tonnes of navel or­anges this year.

Citrus Aus­tralia CEO Ju­dith Dami­ani said the 2016 sea­son be­gan slowly due to warmer than av­er­age au­tumn tem­per­a­tures, but it is now in full swing.

“To­tal pro­duc­tion will be up around 11% from last year,” Ms Dami­ani said.

“Grow­ing con­di­tions have been favourable in most ma­jor grow­ing re­gions, so there will be a good sup­ply of high qual­ity fruit for both Aus­tralian con­sumers and our over­seas cus­tomers.”

PHOTO: TOBI LOF­TUS

DAN­GERS: Wind-borne pests are a sub­stan­tial risk to the citrus in­dus­try.

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