Blueberries

blueberries-industryThe Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association represents the biosecurity interests of blueberry growers and the industry.  They are members of Plant Health Australia and are involved in:

  • biosecurity planning and implementation at the national and farm levels
  • liaising with federal and state governments on trade issues
  • funding and supporting biosecurity initiatives.

Industry overview

In 2014–15, blueberry production was valued at $142 million (LVP). The industry is rapidly expanding with farmers on average producing 4,500 tonnes of blueberries per annum.

The major production area of the Australian blueberry industry is on the NSW north coast. This area produces approximately 80 per cent of Australia’s blueberries. The crop is grown in Tumbarumba in southern NSW; the Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg and Mundubbera in Queensland; the Tamar Valley, Meander Valley, Bernie, Devenport and the Huon Valley in Tasmania; the Grampians, Silvan and Strathbogie in Victoria; Margaret River and Geraldton in WA; and the Mount Lofty ranges in SA.

There are three varieties of blueberries grown in Australia: northern highbush, southern highbush and rabbiteye. Northern highbush are grown in the cooler climate areas such as Victoria, Tasmania and the southern highlands of NSW whereas southern highbush and rabbiteye varieties are grown in NSW and Queensland. The majority of blueberry production is consumed domestically, with less than 5 per cent exported to markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia.

The blueberry industry is covered by the blueberry biosecurity plan version 1.0.

Annual value of blueberry production 2011–15 (LVP)

Distribution of blueberry production by state and territory 2014–15 (based on LVP)

blueberry-ibp-coverBiosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the blueberry industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to assess current biosecurity practices and future biosecurity needs. Planning identifies procedures that can be put in place to reduce the chance of pests reaching our borders or minimise the impact if a pest incursion occurs.

The Biosecurity Plan for the Blueberry Industry outlines key threats to the industry, risk mitigation plans, identification and categorisation of exotic pests and contingency plans. For a copy, please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of blueberries. These pests were identified during the development of the Biosecurity Plan for the Blueberry Industry in consultation with industry, government and scientists. They have been assessed as high priority pests based on their potential to enter, establish, and spread in Australia (eg environmental factors, host range, vectors) and the cost to industry of control measures.

PHA has a range of fact sheets, contingency plans and diagnostic protocols relevant to these pests. Pest risk review documents are also available for some pests. Please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au for more information.

Endorsed National Diagnostic Protocols are available from the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network webpage.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Blueberry aphid Ericaphis fimbriata
Blueberry leaftier Croesia curvalana
Brown rot Monilinia fructigena 3 FS FS DP
Glassy-winged sharpshooter Homalodisca vitripennis FS FS FS FS FS CP DP
Mummy berry Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi FS
Spotted-winged drosophila Drosophila suzukii FS FS FS FS
Sudden oak death Phytophthora ramorum 1 FS FS CP DP
Xylella fastidiosa Xylella fastidiosa including X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex and pauca 2 FS FS FS FS FS CP DP

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic and endemic pests of the blueberry industry. Please note that this is not a complete list of pests: rather it includes pests for which documents exist in the Pest Information Document Database.

Some of the documents presented here are not tailored to the blueberry industry and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Blackline (Cherry leaf roll virus) Cherry leaf roll virus (Nepovirus) (exotic strains) 3
Brown headed leaf roller Ctenopseustis obliquana FS
Brown-marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys FS
Florida flower thrips Frankliniella bispinosa FS
Glassy-winged sharpshooter Homalodisca vitripennis FS FS FS FS FS CP
Gypsy moths Lymantria dispar and Lymantria mathura FS FS FS CP
Peach rosette mosaic virus Peach rosette mosaic virus (Nepovirus)
Phytophthora blight Phytophthora kernoviae
Plum curculio Conotrachelus nenuphar 2 FS FS
Tomato ringspot virus Tomato ringspot virus (Nepovirus) FS