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Completed project

Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry (NY15002)

Key research provider: The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Publication date: Tuesday, June 1, 2021

What was it all about?

This investment, which ran from 2016 to 2020, enhanced the biosecurity preparedness of the Australian nursery industry by developing a range of resources to assist the Australian production nursery industry bolster their biosecurity efforts. Biosecurity capacity was improved by creating and updating pest-specific contingency plans, as well as conducting a biosecurity simulation which highlighted areas for further research.

Key project activities included…

Production of content for the industry’s Pest Identification Tool (

The industry’s pest identification tool (, an online photo database of pest and disease symptoms, was updated throughout the life of this project.

Delivery of biosecurity-focused webinars

A total of 28 workshops (attended by 615 participants) and 14 webinars (attended by 263 and viewed online 9,400 times) were completed covering various aspects of pest and disease management.

Grower feedback from the workshops and webinars was positive, with benefits from implementing recommendations such as increased crop monitoring, reduced weed populations, informed pesticide selection, and general plant health improvements.

Updating grower resources

Resources were developed specifically for use by growers, including 22 factsheets, 9 pest management plans and 5 nursery papers. These are available using the links below.

Running diagnostics

More than 2,300 samples were received by the diagnostic service Grow Help Australia (GHA) from production nurseries across Australia. High use of the diagnostic service indicated that the recommendations were relevant, resulting in reductions in pest / disease incidence, improved crop health and lowered management costs.

Biosecurity simulation

The biosecurity simulation Exercise Fastidious was successful. Representatives from the government, research organisations and the plant health and nursery industry participated, considering a scenario for if Xylella fastidiosa were detected in Australia. 

The simulation results identified areas for further research and resulted in additional funded projects. There were also flow on effects to other aspects of biosecurity policy, including an increased understanding of how the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed would function in relation to pathogen and vector complexes.

The work undertaken in this project has led to the development of a subsequent levy-funded project Resourcing, supporting, and assessing biosecurity in nursery production (NY20000). This project will provide greater support to production nurseries wanting to access diagnostic services. It will also assess the impact of nursery hygiene practices on pest and disease incidence post-sale and post-planting.


This project developed a range of resources to help growers manage common pests and diseases.

The Pest Identification Tool from the Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland has been designed to assist horticultural industries in identifying and treating pest insects, diseases, disorders and weeds. It also includes information about beneficial insects as biocontrol treatments.

Watch all of the 14 webinars held which covered various aspects of pest and disease management.

Multiple resources were developed specifically for the Australian production nursery industry, including these fact sheets, pest management plans and nursery papers:

Fact sheets

You can also access all fact sheets produced by past and current projects here.

Management plans

Nursery papers

Webinar recordings

All webinars are also available in a YouTube playlist here.

Project outputs
Related levy funds

978 0 7341 4675 5

Funding statement:
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2021. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).