Melons

Melons

The Australian Melon Association represents the biosecurity interests of melon 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 2017–18, melon production was valued at $147 million (LVP), with exports valued at $31.6 million. The main destinations for melon exports are New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Australian melon industry consists of approximately 200 growers producing around 215,000 tonnes of melons annually, with the majority of production in Queensland, NT, WA and NSW. Fresh seedless watermelons, rockmelon, honeydew and Piel de Sapo melons are the major products and are produced all year round. The main form of value-adding is cut and wrapped fruit, fruit salad products and juices.

The Australian melon industry has a research and development (R&D) levy, a PHA levy and an Emergency Plant Pest Response levy, currently set at zero. The industry contributes funds to a varroa mite emergency response and the Torres Strait Fruit Fly Strategy.

A Melon Farm Biosecurity Program is funded through the PHA levy to engage with growers on their biosecurity issues. In 2019 a melon farm biosecurity planner and 20 pest- and practice-specific fact sheets were developed and distributed to growers. A workshop in 2019 helped prepare growers and industry leaders to manage an emergency response and what would be required to allow their businesses to continue to operate in an incursion.

Annual value of melon production 2010–18

Distribution of melon production by state and territory, 2017–18 (based on LVP)

The Melon Biosecurity Program is an initiative to improve the management of, and preparedness for, biosecurity risks in the Australian melon industry at the farm and industry levels. Since 2018, the program has operated under a memorandum of understanding between PHA and the Australian Melon Association (AMA). It is funded by growers through the Melon Plant Health Australia (biosecurity) levy. A Melon Biosecurity Officer employed through the AMA represents the industry at all levels of government and industry on biosecurity matters, and develops and delivers information to raise biosecurity awareness among growers and other industry stakeholders.

For more information about the Melon Biosecurity Program email [email protected] or visit www.melonsaustralia.org.au.

Biosecurity Plan for the Melon Industry

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the melon 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 Melon Industry provides a framework for biosecurity risk mitigation measures in the industry. For a copy, please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email [email protected]

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of melons. These pests were identified during the development of the Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Melon 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 some of 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
Cucurbit bacterial wilt Erwinia tracheiphila
Fusarium root and stem rot of melons Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lagenariae, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. melonis (exotic races), Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum (exotic races), Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-cucumerinum (exotic races) FS FS FS FSFS
Groundnut bud necrosis virus Groundnut bud necrosis virus (Tospovirus)
Kyuri green mottle mosaic virus Kyuri green mottle mosaic virus (Tobamovirus)
Melon black rot (Phomopsis fruit rot) Phomopsis cucurbitae, syn Diaporthe melonis
Melon fruit fly Zeugodacus cucurbitae FS DP DP
Melon severe mosaic virus Melon severe mosaic virus (Tospovirus, family Bunyaviridae)
Melon yellow spot virus Melon yellow spot virus (Orthotospovirus)
Monosporascus root rot Monosporascus cannonballus FS
Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis 2 FS FS FS FS FS FS FS DP DP
Silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci (exotic strains) FSFS
Tomato leaf miner (Liriomyza bryoniae) Liriomyza bryoniae FS CP CP
Vegetable leaf miner Liriomyza sativae 3 FS FS FS FS FS FS CP
Watermelon bud necrosis Watermelon bud necrosis virus (Tospovirus)
Watermelon green mottle mosaic virus Watermelon green mottle mosaic virus (Tobamovirus)
Watermelon silver mottle virus & serogroup IV Watermelon silver mottle virus,/em> & serogroup IV (Orthotospovirus)
Zucchini green mottle mosaic virus Zucchini green mottle mosaic virus (Tobamovirus)

Other pests

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

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
American serpentine leaf miner Liriomyza trifolii FS FS FS CP
Bacterial fruit blotch Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli FS
Coconut bug Amblypelta cocophaga FS
Fruit fly (Bactrocera invadens) Bactrocera invadens DP
Melon necrotic spot virus Melon necrotic spot virus (Carmovirus) FS
Pacific spider mite Tetranychus pacificus FS
Serpentine leaf miner Liriomyza huidobrensis FS FS FS FS CP CP
Solanum fruit fly Bactrocera latifrons DP
Strawberry spider mite Tetranychus turkestani FS
Tomato black ring virus Tomato black ring virus (Nepovirus) FS