Australia’s plant production system, including agriculture and forestry, is worth some $30 billion annually. The system not only supports the livelihoods and investments of individual producers, but protects consumers in domestic and export markets, by maintaining the integrity, quality and sustainability of Australia’s food supply.
It is estimated that every year between 20 and 40 percent of crops are lost to plant pests and weeds globally. To mitigate these losses through the eradication of pest incursions or management of production pests, an accurate picture of pest presence is required. This is accomplished using a mix of targeted pest management and general surveillance.
During 2016 Plant Health Australia developed an innovative cloud based system for monitoring pest activity, (AUSPestCheck). Functioning as a national virtual coordination centre, the system enables multiple providers who hold information on nominated pests to easily and securely upload surveillance data. This can be done either manually using spreadsheets or automatically though an Application Programing Interface. The information is automatically collated and a seamless integrated picture of pest status provided back to registered users and stakeholders. The system examines the data, provides automatic alerts and can present value added information with embedded user defined algorithms.
AUSPestCheck has a feature that enables integrated data to be easily exported for downstream analysis. In this paper, we will demonstrate benefits from matching exported real time aggregated pest surveillance data compiled by AUSPestCheck with advanced catchment scale land use mapping. The result has been the generation of national and regional maps that can significantly improve pest threat monitoring, assist the development of response plans and support area freedom and market access arrangements.