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Australia: Pest and disease workshops for production nurseries

How easily can you differentiate between virus and mite symptoms? There’s help out there, but does your integrated pest management (IPM) plan make use of the resources available to industry?

The call is out for nursery growers in Western Australia, Northern Rivers New South Wales and South-East Queensland to make the most of upcoming on-farm biosecurity workshops, so as to sharpen up on important pest and disease management skills.

Two workshops, to be held in early November, will provide a practical ‘hands-on’ approach to equip production nurseries with the knowledge and resources to confidently diagnose unknown plant health problems.

The workshops are scheduled for the below dates and locations:
  • Wednesday, 8 November, Mt Nathan Nursery & Nerang RSL, Gold Coast, Queensland
  • Friday, 10 November, Men of The Trees Nursery, Hazelmere, Western Australia.
Spaces are limited and are filling fast, so growers are encouraged to register online through the applicable state NGI website as soon as possible.

Image courtesy of NGIT

Running the workshops are entomologists and plant pathologists, Andrew Manners and John Duff, who both specialise in production nursery biosecurity at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

Growers can expect discussion and mock examples for a range of common problems including insects, mites, diseases and abiotic stress. The workshop will also include associated management options and resources available to production nurseries.

The farm walk, a core part of the workshops, will provide growers with practical advice on how to manage pests and diseases within their nurseries.

There will also be a strong focus on capturing quality, cost-effective images of pest and disease problems including options for in-field and office/lab photo capture.

These are the final two events for the calendar year, with workshops already completed in Victoria, South Australia, North Queensland and Northern Territory.

The below testimonials are from previous attendees. They were asked what, if anything, has this workshop motivated to change at your nursery?

“This workshop has been very informative and educational regarding all forms of plant care and control of pests and problems.”

“Be stricter with cleanliness, weed control etc. Send off samples for diagnostic testing and use resources available to us within the industry.”

“To be able to start IPM process in the nursery, and having a system to record plant health problems electronically.”

The series of biosecurity workshops are part of the nursery levy funded project Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry (NY15002).

Source: Your Levy at Work
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