A number of issues were identified for the Riverland Viticultural Technical Group (RVTG) at last month’s Phylloxera Outbreak Simulation and Biosecurity Seminar held at Renmark. One of the issues highlighted was the need for the winegrape industry to engage with the table grape producers in formulating the region’s Outbreak Management Plan.
Riverland regional groups must now work on the issues identified at the seminar and develop an Outbreak Management Plan.
The majority of issues are well covered by the Plant Quarantine Standards legislation of SA and other Australian states, or the National Phylloxera Management Protocol. Legislation restricts or prohibits the movement of ‘phylloxera risk vectors’ or things that could carry phylloxera such as grapevine material, grape products and vineyard or winery equipment and machinery.
Remaining issues will be considered by the RVTG and a plan will be developed in consultation with the Phylloxera Board. This level of consultation is critical to ensure the region’s growers and winemakers understand what needs to be done in the event of an outbreak. It is expected the consultation process will broaden awareness so that all parties are prepared as well as they can be when a Phylloxera outbreak occurs.
Lessons can be learnt from other regions of Australia where Phylloxera outbreaks have occurred, such as in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. Barossa growers have invited the Yarra Valley group to share their experience and lessons learnt in developing their management plan.
Mapping the extent of the Phylloxera Infestation Zone (PIZ) in the Riverland is another challenge for the RVTG to consider. Communiques will be issued from time to time in the coming months as the Riverland plan is developed.