AUSVEG represents the biosecurity interests of vegetable and potato 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 2015–16, vegetable and potato production was valued at $2.1 billion. Major crops include potatoes, carrots and lettuce.

Potatoes are a perennial herbaceous dicot however in commercial production they are grown as annuals. They are generally propagated from tubers, known as seed potatoes, rather than from true seed, except in potato breeding programs.

The major growing regions are the Riverina in NSW; Atherton, Bundaberg and Lockyer Valley in Queensland; Murray region and Riverland in South Australia; Gippsland in Victoria; Manjimup and Perth region in Western Australia; and north west Tasmania. In the 2015-16 growing season, Tasmania was the largest producer of potatoes closely followed by South Australia.

In Australia potatoes are produced year round with the lowest production in December. Australia exported 37,212 tonnes of potatoes in 2015-16, which is about three three per cent of production. The majority of the Australian crop (64 per cent) went to the processing market in 2015-16, while the remaining 34 per cent was sold as fresh potatoes.

During 2017, the Vegetable and Potato Biosecurity Officers visited growing regions across Australia and held a series of biosecurity awareness seminars. Farm biosecurity planning resources have been reviewed and updated to reflect industry needs. The Officers are also working with PHA to develop a potato Owner Reimbursement Cost Framework and a potato grower biosecurity manual.

Other biosecurity initiatives include participation in technical meetings with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as well as engagement with other government departments, committees, bodies and PHA. AUSVEG provided advice in the update of the potato and vegetable industry biosecurity plans.

The Australian potato industry is covered by version 1.0 of the potato biosecurity plan and the Potato Growers’ Biosecurity Manual Version 1.0.

Annual value of potato production, 2007–16

 Distribution of potato production by state and territory, 2015–16 (based on LVP)


Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of  potatoes. These pests were identified during the development of the Biosecurity Plan for the Potato 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 [email protected] 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
American serpentine leaf miner Liriomyza trifolii FS FS FS CP DP
Bacterial wilt Ralstonia solanacearum, race 4 (exotic strains)
Black bean aphid Aphis fabae FS CP
Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata 3 FS DP
Cotton aphid Aphis gossypii (exotic strains) FS
Potato cyst nematode (golden) Globodera rostochiensis (exotic strains) 3
Potato cyst nematode (white or pale) Globodera pallida FS
Potato late blight Phytophthora infestans (A2 mating type) FS
Potato spindle tuber viroid Potato spindle tuber viroid (Pospiviroidae) 3 FS DP
Root knot nematode Meloidogyne enterolobii FS
Serpentine leaf miner Liriomyza huidobrensis FS FS FS FS CP CP
Tomato-potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli 3 FS FS CP DP
Zebra chip Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum 2 FS FS CP DP

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic and endemic pests of potatoes. 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 potato industry and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Bacterial ring rot Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus 3 FS
Cotton aphid Aphis gossypii (exotic strains) FS
Florida flower thrips Frankliniella bispinosa FS
Impatiens necrotic ringspot virus Impatiens necrotic ringspot virus (Tospovirus) CP
Papaya mealy bug Paracoccus marginatus FS CP
Root knot nematode Meloidogyne enterolobii FS
Tarnished plant bug Lygus lineolaris FS FS FS CP
Tomato black ring virus Tomato black ring virus (Nepovirus) FS
Tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) Tuta absoluta FS
Verticillium wilt Verticillium dahliae (exotic defoliating strains) 3 FS

Industry biosecurity plans

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the vegetable 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 Potato 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 [email protected]

Farm biosecurity manuals

Manuals usually contain an overview of biosecurity, fact sheets to identify the high priority pests of a crop, tips on crop management, and how to manage people, vehicles and equipment to minimise biosecurity risks. Manuals also contain a biosecurity self-assessment list, and templates to record pest surveillance records and visitors.

The Potato Growers' Biosecurity Manual is based on the six 'essentials ' of on-farm biosecurity: people, vehicles and equipment; farm inputs; farm outputs; feral animals and weeds; production practices; train, plan and record.

More information about on-farm biosecurity is available from the Farm Biosecurity website.