Australia: NSW government asks growers to monitor TPP

The NSW Department of Primary Industries is asking members of the protected cropping community to make their farms available to be surveyed for tomato potato psyllid (TPP).

TPP is a serious insect pest of crops in the Solanaceae (including tomato, potato, eggplant, capsicum and chilli) and Convolvulaceae families (e.g. sweet potato). It was first detected in Australia in Perth in February 2017. Unfortunately eradication efforts were unsuccessful and a transition to management process is underway. Typical transitional activities will include identifying optimal chemical control strategies, building pest management capacity in industry and the community and new government regulations or legislation.

Interstate control measures are a major challenge for growers of host crops and potential carriers in WA. These include post-harvest fumigation with methyl bromide which can badly affect perishable products such as lettuce and strawberries.

TPP has not yet been found on the east coast. The NSW Department of Primary Industries is coordinating a surveillance program to demonstrate freedom from infestation in NSW. So long as this can be maintained, NSW producers will not be burdened with the onerous measures confronting exporters in WA. However for the surveillance to be credible and acceptable to interstate and overseas customers it needs to be widespread with numerous data collection points.

If you are willing to allow your property to be surveyed for TPP, contact Martin Horwood via email or phone on 0427 091 499. At this stage they are only asking for farms in the Sydney Basin and Central Coast. Surveillance may involve visual crop inspections and the deployment of sticky traps (see image).

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