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Ongoing project

An integrated pest and disease management extension program for the olive industry (OL17001)

Key research provider: Western Sydney University

What’s it all about?

Beginning in late 2017, this program is tasked with giving Australian olive growers access to current, practical information and instruction for implementing integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) strategies in the grove. It has a focus on the sustainable management of three major pests and diseases for the industry: black scale, olive lace bug and anthracnose.

The program brings together a national network of experienced IPDM researchers and extension scientists, and industry representatives, and is delivering...

  • Face-to-face IPDM workshops and field days across growing areas with information specific to those areas
  • Online tutorials and self-assessments for growers
  • A best practice IPDM manual and fact sheets, plus other hard copy and digital information, including a revised Pest and Disease Field Guide for the industry
  • Training for industry consultants and pest scouts.

A survey on knowledge of IPDM and pest problems was conducted among growers, with a good response rate across a mixture of grower types.

Key findings from the survey included:

  • Three major insect pests were widespread: black scale, olive lace bug and weevil.
  • The three most important diseases/disorders were, in order, anthracnose, peacock spot and dieback.
  • Almost one third (30%) of respondents said that they understood IPDM well and around half said that they currently implement some aspects of IPDM.
  • While almost half have a wash down facility to reduce biosecurity risks associated with vehicles coming on-farm, fewer than one in five growers (18%) had a farm biosecurity plan in place.

The findings on pest challenges and current practices will guide future extension activities.

Six IPDM field days were held in this reporting period, with more in the pipeline.

ACT NOW

The program’s initial workshops have now been scheduled, taking place on…

  • Saturday July 21, at Rylstone Press Grove, Rylstone NSW
  • Friday August 10 at Daisy Bank Grove, Big Hill NSW
  • Sunday August 12 at Adina Vineyard and Olive Grove, Lovedale NSW.

Full details of these and other events will be circulated in industry channels as they become available. The workshops will be full-day events with technical presentations from IPDM experts, as well as practical sessions in the grove.

At the time of writing, a survey was also being circulated through AOA, to help the project team identify current IPDM knowledge and needs, with responses closing on June 20.

Other work in the project has included a literature review looking at the key pests of olive and what is currently known around natural enemies, biological control and chemical management. This information, and feedback from the industry survey, will be used to guide the project’s education activities.