Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Enhancing surveillance for exotic pests of stored grain using a partnership approach with industry and government. (4084)

Judy Bellati 1 , Kym McIntyre 2 , Rachel Taylor-Hukins 3 , Jim Moran 4 , Jeff Russell 5 , Sharyn Taylor 6
  1. Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia, Glenside, SA, Australia
  2. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Toowoomba, QLD, Australia
  3. Department of Primary Industries, Orange, NSW, Australia
  4. Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Bendigo, Vic, Austraila
  5. Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, Northam, WA, Australia
  6. Plant Health Australia, Deakin, ACT, Australia


Exotic plant pests threaten production, market access and sustainability of Australian plant production systems. For the grains industry, over 600 exotic pests have been identified of which 54 are considered high priority pests (HPPs), posing a significant threat. Despite Australia’s geographical isolation and strong quarantine systems, increasing levels of travel and trade continues to place pressure on our biosecurity systems, emphasising the need for improving our efforts in prevention, preparedness and surveillance. Verifying freedom from HPPs such as Khapra beetle and Karnal bunt is critical to supporting and maintaining access for Australian grain producers to domestic and international markets.

Within Australia, the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program (GFBP) a national initiative to assist in the development and implementation of improved biosecurity practice, plays an instrumental role in the education and awareness of exotic pests. The GFBP places significant importance on the role of surveillance and reporting by industry stakeholders in order to detect an incursion early, increasing the likelihood of eradication or containment and reducing its impact on industry and community.

The GFBP has recently undertaken a targeted surveillance monitoring program for stored product pests using a range of target sites and potential risk groups (e.g. privately-owned farming enterprises, grain millers, seed distributors, importers of dry goods and agricultural re-sellers) primarily aimed at strengthening evidence of absence and building industry knowledge in grain storage surveillance within the regions.

Different approaches for implementation were used across the three grain regions of Australia (southern, western and northern zones), depending on pre-existing collaborators, state surveillance activities and industry alliances. Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) was the main target, with the deployment of - pheromone traps and other sample methods including vacuuming and visual inspection of grain and other host materials. These regionally specific methods for development and enhancement of surveillance efforts are discussed.