Useful information and links for the truffle industry in Western Australia

Page last updated: Tuesday, 18 February 2020 - 3:55pm

Commercial production of truffles in Western Australia is a complex business, requiring specialist skills and knowledge. Much of this knowledge may need to be sourced from others. The following information and links will assist those in the industry locate some of these resources from both within the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and outside.

Industry organisations

Both the national peak body, the Australian Truffle Growers Association, and the state peak body, the Truffle Producers Western Australia, are excellent sources for truffle industry information, including production and marketing. Also for meeting fellow industry members.

AgriFutures Australia (previously Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation) have supported the development of the truffle industry in Australia through research and development grants and projects, the reports on completed projects can be sourced on their website.

General truffle growing and handling information

  • Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) provides a range of publications on their website on truffle industry, production and pest management information.
  • Suppliers of truffle inoculated trees are generally very knowledgeable about location suitability, host tree types, and establishment requirements, a lot of this can be discussed as a part of the purchase of inoculated plants.
  • Private commercial horticultural advisers are available at commercial rates — check the telephone directory or internet for contacts, there are limited advisers with direct truffle experience, but general horticultural advice can still be of benefit.
  • There are some truffle consultants and training courses advertised on the industry organisations websites listed above.
  • Many ‘rural suppliers’ offer agronomic advice to growers who use their products — contact your local rural supplier.
  • Talking to other growers is an invaluable source of information. Access this by becoming involved with your industry organisations and getting to know other local growers.
  • The internet is a vast source of information, growing truffles is very much an international activity, there are lots of reports and experiences available, you just have to consider that it may be under different conditions, so will require some evaluation.

Pest, disease & weed identification

  • Australian truffle orchards - pest and disease field guide, an electronic publication to assist in identifying pests and diseases of truffles and their host trees, available via DPIRD Australian truffle orchards - integrated pest and disease management weg page.
  • MyPestGuide Reporter is an app available for both iOS and Android devices that allows users to take images of pest issues and send them in for identification through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
  • Pest and Disease Information Services (PaDIS) within the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development provides an identification service for exotic pest issues as well as a ‘user-pay’ identification service for more common pest issues.

Water regulations and licensing

In Western Australia, the capture, storage and use of most water supplies for horticultural purposes is regulated to protect both the environment and the reliability of supply for all users. Licenses are required in most circumstances and potential growers should not assume that there is available allocation, and should investigate water options and availability early on in any decision to grow truffles commercially. For more information contact the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Irrigation design

Advice is best sought from qualified and experienced commercial irrigation designers. Check the telephone directory or internet for contacts. Speaking with other growers in your area and your local rural outlet about their experiences is also highly recommended.

Supply of truffle inoculated host trees

See DPIRD publication ‘Sourcing inoculated trees for truffle production in Western Australia’ for more information.

Truffle and inoculated tree movements into and out of Western Australia

Both truffles and truffle inoculated plants are subjected to Western Australia’s quarantine laws. Only certain species of truffles are permitted to be imported into WA (see DPIRD publication ‘Sourcing inoculated trees for truffle production in Western Australia’ for a list of permited species) and under certain conditions (contact Quarantine WA for more information on import requirements). Similarly, the exporting of truffles to other countries must meet both Australian export requirements for ‘food products’ and the import requirements of the intended market (contact the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for more information and view their Manual of Importing Country Requirements database).

 

 

Contact information

Alec McCarthy
+61 (0)8 9780 6273