Potatoes

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 2018–19, vegetable and potato production was valued at $2.6 billion (LVP). Major crops include potatoes, carrots and lettuce. Potato production alone was valued at $659 million (LVP). Exports of vegetables, including potatoes, were valued at $292 million.

Australia’s diverse climate and soils accommodate vegetable cultivation in all states and territories, ensuring a constant supply of fresh vegetables. Australian growers provide the majority of fresh vegetables consumed in Australia, and an increasing amount of fresh vegetables are consumed overseas.

The Australian vegetable industry is committed to building its capacity to respond to potential biosecurity threats. The employment of two full-time biosecurity officers, a tomato potato psyllid national coordinator and a potato pest surveillance officer allows the industry to participate in a range of biosecurity related initiatives.

In 2020, the biosecurity officers visited numerous growing regions in Australia including Bundaberg in Queensland, Katherine and Darwin in Northern Territory, Southern Tablelands in New South Wales, and the Lockyer Valley in Queensland. They held a series of regional biosecurity awareness seminars in these regions and visited 18 individual farms. Due to Covid-19, further farm visits were not possible after mid-March. Instead, the officers conducted extensive grower consultation and interview sessions by telephone and Zoom. They also ran more than 10 biosecurity webinars and developed several videos and podcasts. Recordings of these are available at ausveg.com.au

The biosecurity officers also participated in technical committee, consultation and project development meetings with the DAWE, and engaged with state government departments, other industry bodies and PHA. They also facilitated a Melbourne-based pilot program that focused on exotic plant pest awareness in urban environments. Officers engaged with community gardeners and urban farmers, raising awareness of exotic plant pests and reporting protocols.

In 2020, the National Potato Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy was finalised, which involved significant engagement with potato growers, processors, seed suppliers and certifiers, industry bodies, the Australian Government and governments in Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland.

Annual value of potato production, 2007–19

Distribution of potato production by state and territory, 2018–19 (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 CP
CLso | Zebra chip Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum 2 FS FS CP DP
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 (exotic strains) Phytophthora infestans (A2 mating type and exotic strains of A1 mating type) FS
Potato spindle tuber viroid Potato spindle tuber viroid (Pospiviroidae) (exotic strains) 3 FS DP
Root knot nematode Meloidogyne enterolobii syn. Meloidogyne mayaguensis FS
Tomato-potato psyllid Bactericera cockerelli 3 FS FS CP DP
Vegetable leaf miner Liriomyza sativae 3 FS FS FS FS FS FS FSCP

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
Serpentine leaf miner Liriomyza huidobrensis FS FS FS FS CP
Root knot nematode Meloidogyne enterolobii syn. Meloidogyne mayaguensis 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

National Potato Industry Biosecurity Surveillance StrategyNational Potato Industry Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy

The National Potato Industry Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy 2020–25 (NPIBSS) provides a framework for peak potato industry bodies and governments to identify and coordinate national surveillance priorities and activities.

The strategy will support surveillance and ensure the potato industry is informed, resilient, engaged and globally competitive. Improving surveillance will provide valuable information to improve the response to exotic pest incursions, support domestic and international market access, and improve pest management.

Download the strategy


Strategy implementation planNational Potato Industry Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy Implementation Plan

The NPIBSS Implementation Plan 2020–25 details how the strategy will be implemented, including the importance of strong support from stakeholders, governance arrangements, and secure funding arrangements.

Implementation of the NPIBSS will improve engagement and communication, identify and reduce barriers to undertaking surveillance and reporting of new pests and promote national capture, sharing and consistency of surveillance data to improve efficiency in biosecurity management within and between industry and governments.

Download the implementation plan

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.