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Ongoing project

Improving the biosecurity preparedness of Australian horticulture for the exotic spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) (MT17005)

Key research provider: Plant Health Australia

What’s it all about?

Contracted in July 2018, this multi-industry investment spans several industry Funds. It is tasked with improving industry awareness of the risks posed by spotted wing drosophila, which attacks a range of soft-skinned fruit, and also increasing the capacity to detect and respond to any incursions of the pest.

Activities include building knowledge and capacity around appropriate surveillance and management tools and strategies within the growing industries, government and among other relevant stakeholders. Looking at options for meeting domestic and international quarantine requirements are also among the project’s activities.

Following on from the industry and government workshop and researcher roadshow in late 2018, project efforts have focused on information gathering and initial data modelling activities to find out more about the potential threat that spotted wing drosophila (SWD) poses to Australia’s key horticultural regions.

A literature review on potential non-chemical controls was published [link] including cultural control methods like exclusion netting, possible predators of the fly, and orchard hygiene.

Modelling of the likely spread of the pest has begun, to work out where surveillance activities are best targeted.

Communications activities have focused on advising horticultural industries of the commencement of the project as well as publicising roadshows.

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