Australia: QDAF pest and disease webinar series underway

The latest series of pest and disease webinars are underway. Run by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF), these events are working to enhance the biosecurity measures in Australia’s nursery industry by new sharing management plans and information to mitigate risk.

Two of the four scheduled webinars have already taken place, each offering some key take-home advice for growers and production staff on the prevention of disease and sustainable use of fungicides.

Webinar 1
Held on Wednesday 22 July 2020, this webinar event guided participants through ‘Preventing disease in production nurseries using Integrated Crop Management (ICM)’.

The webinar unpacked ICM, discussing disease mitigation in nurseries, how to reduce disease pressure and manage pathogens – all ensuring plants can be at their healthiest.

Project lead, Andrew Manners, shared the following key takeaways from the event:

  • No one method will stop pathogens from entering a nursery
  • Prevention relies on ensuring that all nursery inputs are free of pathogens
  • Concentrate on growing healthy plants as they are more resilient and less disease-prone
  • Monitor your crop to allow early management and seasonal pest pressure

For more detail on the benefits of ICM and disease management, watch the full webinar here:

Webinar 2
The second webinar was held on Wednesday 5 August, covering ‘How to use fungicides sustainably in production nurseries’.

Fungicides were the feature of this webinar, looking at how they kill fungal pathogens and protect plants. It also covered managing resistance, biological control of pathogens and fungicide use.

Key insights shared throughout this webinar include:

  • Don’t assume that a fungicide will solve a problem
  • Implement cultural and preventative practices to reduce reliance on fungicides
  • Apply protectant products leading up to periods of high pest pressure
  • Rotate and alternate products as per a fungicide resistance strategy to avoid immunities
  • In the case of an outbreak, action to break the lifecycle of the pathogen

For more detail on protecting plants from fungal pathogens and how fungicides can be most effectively used, watch the full webinar here:

Be sure to catch the final two webinars hosted by QDAF, covering effective alternative to neonicotinoid insecticides and the effect of climate change on pest populations.

Webinar 3: Effective alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides for Australian production nurseries
Topics covered will include:

  • The impact of broad-spectrum insecticides on non-target beneficial populations.
  • Alternative pesticides that can be used against a range of common pests that appear on neonicotinoid labels – split into those that are broad-spectrum and those that are relatively soft on pollinators, predators and parasites.
  • Methods to manage pest populations that do not require the use of pesticides.

Date: Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Time: 10am – 11am AEST

Register here

Webinar 4: The effect of climate change on pest populations; a practical approach to pest management for production nurseries in the face of climate variability
Attendees will be presented with the following:

  • What is climate variability? (please note that the causes of climate change will only be briefly discussed broadly)
  • How pest populations can change with climate.
  • Practical methods that all production nursery managers can employ to mitigate the risk of sudden and unexpected pest populations.

Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Time: 10am – 11am AEST

Register here

These sessions are free, presenting relevant and insightful information to growers and production staff to aid in achieving best practice, pest and disease management.

The ‘Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry’ (NY15002) project is funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Source: Your Levy at Work

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