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Ongoing project

Review of the national biosecurity plan for the onion industry and development of a biosecurity manual for onion producers (VN15001)

Key research provider: Plant Health Australia

What’s it all about?

This investment is responsible for reviewing and updating the onion industry’s biosecurity plan. In identifying, prioritising and looking at the management and surveillance of key biosecurity risks, the biosecurity plan provides a framework for risk mitigation, and for managing the impact of potential pest and disease incursions.

While the plan itself is a high-level decision-making document, for growers the project will also produce a biosecurity manual detailing key exotic and endemic pests, weeds and diseases, and how to minimise the risk of them.

Access the most up-to-date version of the Biosecurity Plan for the Onion Industry on the Plant Health Australia website.

Version 3.1 of the Biosecurity Plan for the Onion Industry was completed in October 2019. During the period of review for the biosecurity plan, the Biosecurity Reference Panel (BRP) met to prioritise preparedness activities and to monitor emerging threats to the industry. A number of alterations were made to the high priority pest list, as well as the implementation plan.

The revised Biosecurity Plan for the Onion Industry was published in February 2019 following endorsement by industry (through Onions Australia) and Plant Health Committee (PHC). This document will help to guide the onion industry to ensure awareness of potential biosecurity threats and commitment to improving preparedness. In January 2019 an implementation table for the biosecurity plan and a high priority pest list was also endorsed by PHC.

The first of a series of four annual Biosecurity Reference Panel (BRP) meetings was held to prioritise preparedness activities and monitor emerging threats to the industry. Outcomes from this process highlighted that work is already occurring across all areas of the implementation plan. In particular, the onion industry has been engaged in biosecurity education and awareness through the publication of the Onion Growers Biosecurity Manual.

In late April, the project-produced Onion Growers’ Biosecurity Manual was released – click here to download now. A hard copy was also circulated to growers in the levy-funded Layers magazine.

The comprehensive document serves a guide to on-farm biosecurity measures that can reduce the risks of pests, diseases, feral animals and weeds. It also includes information on biosecurity laws, key facts on pest and disease threats, and an easy-to-use biosecurity checklist.

For more information on how to use the guide, find a video here produced by the levy-funded communications project.

At the time of writing, the revised Biosecurity Plan for the Onion Industry was also due for release to industry. The project completed its review of the plan in December 2017, with the plan subsequently endorsed by industry through Onions Australia and provided to the Plant Health Committee for government endorsement.

The industry’s revised biosecurity plan was completed in December 2017, has been endorsed by industry through Onions Australia, and at the time of writing was with the Plant Health Committee for government endorsement – at which point the plan will be officially launched.

Likewise, the biosecurity manual for growers is being finalised. It outlines simple procedures that can be used to minimise the risk of introducing and spreading pests, diseases and weeds on-farm, with hard copies set to be distributed with an upcoming edition of Layers, and through future field days.

Related levy funds
Details

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Onion Fund