e-Surveillance in the WA grains industry

Page last updated: Monday, 28 May 2018 - 3:55pm

This sub-project has partnered with grains industry stakeholders and the wider community to improve Western Australian grains industry pest and disease surveillance, diagnosis and capacity by completing the following objectives:

  • Developed and delivered new tools to improve grains industry pest and disease surveillance and diagnosis.
  • Improved stakeholder and community knowledge and participation in pest and disease surveillance.
  • Analysed the capacity to manage an outbreak of an exotic pest, identified any gaps and provided recommendations on any required remedial actions.

Tools for surveillance- the MyPestGuide apps and online reporting

The Grains e-surveillance subproject successfully developed and launched a family of free biosecurity surveillance support tools which provide information about, and enable reporting and identification of pests (see the MyPestGuide page). The first free MyPestGuide (MPG) app was released in August 2014 and enables users to quickly identify insects. Users take a photograph using the phone or tablet’s camera and submit their observational details directly to experts at the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD), who identify the insect and send a response to the user’s device. People can also take photos of a pest using a digital camera and submit their report using the on-line reporting tool.

The MPG family of tools developed to date includes the following four applications (supported by both iOS Apple and Android):

MyPestGuide Reporter- A communication tool for everyone to report pests and diseases

MyPestGuide Crops- Field guide and identification app for pests of grain crops

MyPestGuide Diseases- Field guide and identification app for diseases of grain crops

MyPestGuide CropScout- An app to assist growers, consultants and other field technicians apply spray thresholds for pests in grain crops

The Grains e-surveillance subproject also supported development of the MyWeedWatcher and MyPestGuide Grapes applications.

Portals to the MPG family of tools and apps can be found on the DPIRD's Mobile app centre webpage.  An MPG community webpage has also been developed to complement the MPG tools - by bringing people together who have similar pest problems in their local area; creating a collaborative monitoring and surveillance network.

Since being released in August 2014 to April 2018, the MPG family of tools and apps has achieved 38,608 downloads and just over 46,733 reports.  From these reports, 11 exotic pests new to WA, and 2 exotic pests new to Australia were identified.  A number of these resulted in emergency response action.

The data fields of the MPG family of tools and apps are designed to meet the National Minimum Data Standard for Plant Pest Surveillance (as agreed by the Australian Plant Health Committee, June 2015).  This means reports are standardised, comprehensive, able to be shared (especially at the national level) and able to support area freedom claims.

Training and extensive promotion of the MPG family of tools and apps has also been successfully delivered.

This subproject is currently due to end on the 30th June 2018. However, an extension to 30th June 2019 may be possible in order to continue building on the success of the MyPestGuide suite of mobile apps and associated benefits of community engagement.

Contact information

Laura Fagan
+61 (0)8 9368 3212