An integrated pest and disease management extension program for the olive industry (OL17001)
What was it all about?
From 2017 to 2020, this program delivered olive growers up-to-date, practical information for implementing integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) strategies in their groves. While the team focused on the sustainable management of three major olive pests and diseases – black scale, olive lace bug and anthracnose – all potential pests, diseases and disorders, as well as beneficial organisms, were addressed.
The project team worked closely with the Australian Olive Association (AOA) to provide extension outputs to industry. The program brought together a national network of experienced IPDM researchers, extension scientists and industry representatives.
Initial steps included a detailed literature review and knowledge gap analysis, plus a baseline survey of Australian olive growers to understand pest and disease issues, current management strategies, and how growers accessed or wished to access relevant information.
With 130 participants, representing more than 70 per cent of Australian olive production, the survey confirmed the importance of the three key plant protection problems being addressed by this project.
Responses also highlighted there were questions about correct pest and disease identification and the level of implementation of IPDM practices.
Between mid-2018 and early 2019, the team held 10 one-day IPDM workshops / field days across all olive-growing states with 275 growers participating. The sessions shared information about IPDM principles and practices, how to identify and monitor for pests, diseases and beneficial species, as well as strategies for conventional and organic management. A two-day Master Class was also held for olive consultants and pest scouts in September 2019.
Based on feedback from the survey and workshop participants, the following resources were developed and made available on the AOA’s OliveBiz website in for use by growers, advisors, consultants and industry:
- Online tutorials with information about IPDM, monitoring, biosecurity, and key pests and diseases
- Fact sheets / flyers providing information about key pests and management strategies
- An updated Field Guide to Olive Pests, Diseases and Disorders
- A Best Practice IPDM Manual providing information for more informed decision making.
In an end-of-project survey, 79 per cent of respondents said they had participated in at least one project activity. Of these, 89 per cent felt their knowledge had been improved, with 60 per cent changing or planning change to their IPDM practices.
The team reported increased grower confidence in pest and disease identification, with more than 90 per cent of growers actively monitoring their crops and increased adoption of on-farm biosecurity.
Access project resources via the Australian Olive Association’s OliveBiz website, including tutorials, fact sheets, guides and manuals.
Check out the presentation made to the Australian Olive Conference Albury, October 2019, titled IPDM PROJECT– The Next Phase: An integrated pest and disease management extension program for the olive industry.
Watch videos from the IPDM field days:
- Risk management and biosecurity - Peter McFarlane
- Principles and practices of IPDM part 1 - Dr Robert-Spooner Hart
- Principles and practices of IPDM part 2 - Dr Len Tesoriero
- Field trip summary
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This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Olive Fund using the olive R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government.
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