Avocados

Avocados Australia represents the biosecurity interests of avocado 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 2018–19, avocado production was valued at $296 million (LVP), with exports valued at $19.7 million, which were mainly shipped to Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Australians’ love of avocados has grown steadily each year since the 1990s. Consumption in 2018–19 reached 3.8 kilograms per person, and 3.88 kilograms person in 2019–20, up from 1.2 kilograms in 1997–98.

Queensland continues to dominate Australia’s avocado production followed by Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, with a small amount of production in Tasmania and one known orchard in the Northern Territory. Orchard areas are expanding in almost every growing region. This geographic diversity in growing regions ensures consumers have access to Australian avocados year-round. Fruit imported from New Zealand and, as of late 2020, Chile, supplements supply during spring and summer.

The Hass variety is the predominant avocado produced in Australia, accounting for approximately 81 per cent production, with Shepard accounting for about 16 per cent. Other varieties such as Reed, Sharwil, Gwen, Wurtz and Fuerte make up the balance.

Avocados Australia is active in the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) and the National Management Groups (NMG) responding to the annual incursion of three fruit fly species in the Torres Strait, and to the detections of Varroa jacobsoni in Queensland, also under active eradication.

Avocados Australia has also recently participated in updating the industry’s biosecurity plan (version 3.0 was released in February 2020), and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PHA in June 2020 to improve the industry’s capability to prepare for and respond to biosecurity risks, at the industry level.

Annual value of avocado production, 2007–19

Distribution of avocado production by state and territory, 2018–19 (based on LVP)

 

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 Avocado 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]


Avocado Biosecurity ManualThe Orchard Biosecurity Manual for the Avocado Industry contains information to help producers to implement biosecurity on-farm. 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.

More information about on-farm biosecurity for both plant and livestock producers is available from the Farm Biosecurity website.


The Exotic Pest Identification and Surveillance Guide for Tropical Horticulture was developed with funding from the Australia Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Inspecting crops for signs of new pests is one way growers can protect Australia’s plant industries from exotic pests, as early detection and reporting improves the chances of successfully containing or eradicating new pests. The guide is in two sections:

• Biosecurity and surveillance
• Identification of key exotic pests.


Avocado PostcardPostcard

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

Maximise your avocado crop with better pollinationThe Maximise your avocado crop with better pollination brochure, produced by PHA working with Plant and Food Research NZ and Hort Innovation, brings together the science on best-practice for pollination in one place and provides clear steps for growers to assess their pollination during flowering to reduce the risk of pollination failure.

Many growers in Australia rely heavily on the free pollination services offered by wild or unmanaged European honey bees. But honey bees are not always the best pollinator for a crop.


Additional pollination information

Additional fact sheets and web links about the pollination of this crop are listed below. Please be aware that some of the information was developed overseas, and environmental and seasonal variations may occur.

Avocado Pollination Fact Sheet, The Pollination Program (AgriFutures Australia and Hort Innovation)

The value of pollination, Avocados Australia

Avocado flowering information, University of California

Avocado flowering and pollination, University of California

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of avocados. These pests were identified during the development of the Biosecurity Plan for the Avocado 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
Avocado scab Elsinoe perseae syn. Sphaceloma perseae FS
Avocado seed moth Stenoma catenifer FS
Avocado thrips Scirtothrips perseae FS DP
Bacterial canker Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae (exotic races)
Bacterial canker Xanthomonas campestris (avocado strain) and Pantoea agglomerans
Brown headed leaf roller Ctenopseustis obliquana and Ctenopseustis herang FS
Carambola fruit fly Bactrocera carambolae FS FS FS FS DP DP
Cook Islands fruit fly Bactrocera melanotus DP DP
Fijian fruit fly Bactrocera kirki DP DP
Fijian fruit fly Bactrocera passiflorae FS DP DP
Large seed weevil Helipus lauri
Laurel wilt Raffaelea lauricola FS
Melon fruit fly Zeugodacus cucurbitae FS DP DP
Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens FS DP
Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis 2 FS FS FS FS FS FS FS DP DP
Pacific fruit fly Bactrocera xanthodes DP DP
Papaya mealy bug Paracoccus marginatus FS CP
Persea mite Oligonychus perseae FS
Small avocado seed weevil Conotrachelus aguacatae
Small seed weevil Conotrachelus perseae
Sri Lankan fruit fly Bactrocera kandiensis DP DP
Sudden oak death Phytophthora ramorum 1 FS FS FS CP DP
Tongan fruit fly Bactrocera facialis DP DP
Trunk canker Phytophthora mengei FS

Other pests

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

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Avocado sunblotch Avocado sunblotch viroid (symptomatic strains) FS
Brown-marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys FS FS FS CP
Citrus blackfly Aleurocanthus woglumi FS
False codling moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta syn Cryptophlebia leucotreta 2 FS CP
Florida flower thrips Frankliniella bispinosa FS
Glassy-winged sharpshooter Homalodisca vitripennis FS FS FS FS FS FS FS CP CP
Grape mealybug Pseudococcus maritimus FS
Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata FS DP
Omnivorous leaf roller Platynota stultana FS
Orange tortrix Argyrotaenia citrana syn A. franciscana FS
Papaya mealy bug Paracoccus marginatus FS CP
Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni FS DP
Western leaf footed bug Leptoglossus zonatus FS
Xylella fastidiosa Xylella fastidiosa including X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex and pauca 2 FS FS FS FS FS FS CP