Media releases 2014

Spray drift research showcased on new website

11 December 2014
The National Working Party on Pesticide Applications (NWPPA) has officially launched a website to publicise their work on technologies to reduce spray drift. Independent Chair Gavan Cattanach said the website outlines the work of the NWPPA and the outcomes of the research program that is at the heart of the working parties’ vision.

Award winner withstands disease threat to bananas

11 September
Shannon Paton and Sarah Schultz, who run Paton’s Exotics at Nerada, near lnnisfail in Queensland, are the winners of the 2014 Plant Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award. The main pest threat is an endemic fungal disease, Race 1 Panama disease (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense), but the biosecurity measures used to protect their property from this disease also prevent other pests and diseases.

Biosecurity plan an investment for award finalist

25 August
According to Lindsay Bourke, finalist in the 2014 Plant Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award, a biosecurity plan is an investment in the future of a business and the community. The beekeeper manages 3,600 hives for honey production and the pollination of over 80 crops.

Biosecurity a habit for banana growing award finalists

22 August
Michael and Lisa Lankester from Walkamin on the Atherton Tablelands in far north Queensland are finalists in the 2014 Plant Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award. Lankester Bananas grows 60 hectares of Lady Finger bananas and 5 hectares (3650 trees) of trellised custard apples. The remainder of their land is dedicated to grazing.

Plant Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award finalists

12 August
PHA is pleased to announce the names of the finalists for the 2014 Plant Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award. Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate. The winner will be announced at the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards dinner on 10 September in Melbourne.

BeeAware how to boost crop yields with honey bee pollination

11 July 2014
BeeAware is the latest honey bee biosecurity initiative developed by Plant Health Australia (PHA) which aims to help farmers boost productivity of crops by optimising honey bee pollination.  The site was launched by PHA Chairman, Dr Tony Gregson, at the Victorian Apiarist Association Conference in Melbourne on 8 July.

National fruit fly strategy reinvigorated

7 May 2014
Fruit fly management in Australia has been given a considerable boost this week by the announcement that additional funding has been secured for national coordination. Plant Health Australia (PHA), the coordinator of the plant biosecurity partnership in Australia, announced that a National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS) Advisory Committee will be established to strengthen national strategic oversight of the National Fruit Fly Strategy (NFFS).

Experts come together to consider pesticide risks to honey bees

22 April 2014
A symposium held in Canberra on 9 April 2014 concluded that neonicotinoids, a newer class of insecticide commonly used to control insect pests in crops, are unlikely to be presenting any greater threat to honey bees and crop pollination than other pesticides which have been in use for many years.

Cocoa pod borer eradicated from Australia

13 February 2014
Cocoa pod borer, an exotic pest of cocoa and tropical fruits including rambutan, has been eradicated from Australia following an eradication program run under Australia’s emergency plant pest agreement. Australia is the only country to have eradicated the pest, allowing future production of cocoa and rambutans.

Industry planning protects potatoes from exotic pests

31 January 2014
More than 70 exotic pests that pose a threat to the Australian potato industry were identified in a new version of the Industry Biosecurity Plan (IBP) for the Potato Industry, released by PHA, the coordinators of the biosecurity partnership in Australia.