Maximising the biosecurity of the Australian citrus industry budwood facility (CT17003)
What’s it all about?
From 2018 to 2019, this investment worked to increase the preparedness of the Australian Citrus industry for any future incursion of the Asiatic citrus psyllid (ACP), and the accompanying disease huanglongbing (HLB), by building a structure to house citrus budwood multiplication plants in insect proof conditions and thereby provide a source of HLB-free budwood to Australian citrus nurseries.
The availability of HLB-free budwood is seen as a critical factor in mitigating the spread of any future incursion of HLB, and in redeveloping orchards potentially affected by in. To prepare for any future arrival of this pest, mother trees must be protected from infection and the only scientifically accepted and practical way to do this is to grow the mother trees in insect proof conditions.
The project team built a physical structure designed and operated to exclude ACP, while providing a suitable growing environment for the citrus budwood that is free of HLB and other graft-transmissible diseases. This insect proof structure has been integrated into the existing nursery complex at Auscitrus in Dareton, New South Wales. Budwood trees propagated in preparation were moved into this new structure where production will continue under insect proof conditions.
The availability of this facility will strengthen biosecurity preparation and understanding across the sector. Nursery groups and growers will see firsthand the importance, advantages and challenges of growing budwood and nursery trees under insect screened conditions.
This presentation, shared with attendees at the Citrus Australia Technical Forum 2019, outlines the development of the screenhouse and need for protected budwood production in Australia.
Read more in this Australian Citrus News article, New Auscitrus screenhouse a ‘game changer’, published in 2019. It describes the project and reminds growers of the need to use budwood tested for HLB and other graft-transmissible pathogens.
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This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund using the citrus R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government
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