Chestnuts

Chestnuts Australia represents the biosecurity interests of chestnut producers and the industry. They are members of Plant Health Australia and signatories to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. Their responsibilities include:

  • biosecurity planning and implementation at the national and farm levels
  • liaising with federal and state governments on trade issues
  • funding and supporting biosecurity initiatives participating in national committees and
  • response efforts in an emergency.

Industry overview

In 2012–13, chestnut production was valued at $4.3 million (LVP). In 2014 there were around 1, 300 hectares containing approximately 200, 000 chestnut trees. The industry estimates that with more trees planted, production will rise to approximately $7.5 million in 2014.

The main varieties grown are Red Spanish, Purtons Pride and De Coppi Marone. Chestnuts flower during November and December and are harvested from March through to May.

The industry is primarily focused on the domestic market with approximately two per cent exported mainly to Asian markets.

The Australian chestnut industry operates principally in the southern states of Australia, including NSW, Tasmania and Victoria, plus southern areas of SA and the south western area of WA. Approximately 70 per cent of the national crop is grown in north east Victoria.

The chestnut industry has always been aware of the possible biosecurity issues it faced, the main threats being chestnut blight, chestnut weevil and chestnut gall wasp. The depth of knowledge and preparedness was made evident in 2010 when there was an outbreak of chestnut blight. This outbreak was reported swiftly due to grower knowledge and biosecurity training. As a result of the eradication program, nine of the originally infected properties have been declared free of the disease and can resume planting chestnuts.

An Industry Development Officer was appointed in December 2013 to further improve biosecurity vigilance.

Annual value of chestnut production 2009–14 (LVP)

Chestnuts graph

 

Distribution of chestnut production by state and territory 2013–14 (based on LVP)

Chestnut pie chart

 

Tree nut IBPBiosecurity Plan for the Tree Nut Industry

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the almond 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 Tree Nut 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.

Nuts PostcardPostcard

Promotional item to support the exotic plant pest hotline 1800 084 881

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of chestnuts. These pests were identified during the development of the Biosecurity Plan for the Tree Nut 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
Chestnut blight Cryphonectria parasitica 2 FS DP
Gypsy moths Lymantria dispar FS FS FS CP
Oriental chestnut gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus FS
Sudden oak death Phytophthora ramorum 1 FS FS CP DP
Verticillium wilt Verticillium dahliae (exotic defoliating strains) 3 FS

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic and endemic pests of the chestnut 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.

The documents presented here are not tailored to the chestnut industry and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Citrus longicorn beetle Anoplophora chinensis FS CP
Filbertworm Cydia latiferreana FS
Gypsy moths Lymantria dispar FS FS FS CP
Sudden oak death Phytophthora ramorum 1 FS FS CP
Texas root rot Phymatotrichum omnivorum 2 FS FS
Verticillium wilt Verticillium dahliae (exotic defoliating strains) 3 FS