Newsletters

AgMemo

Plan to manage Tomato potato psyllid (TPP)

An infographic of the plan and its stages
The Tomato potato psyllid (TPP) Transition to management plan is a proactive approach to managing TPP in Australia. The plan aims to improve the capacity of the horticulture sector to manage TPP, and build confidence around the status of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) associated with TPP.

The Tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) TPP, was detected in Western Australia for the first time in February this year.

This prompted a comprehensive biosecurity response by industry and government, to minimise the impact of the insect pest on West Australian businesses. 

WA is now leading the implementation of an eight-month plan to develop the science, biosecurity and business systems to support growers and industry manage TPP.

What is the TPP Transition to management plan?

The Transition to management plan aims to improve the capacity of growers and industry to manage TPP.

The plan will build confidence around the status of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) associated with TPP which causes Zebra Chip disease in potatoes.

Transitioning to management follows national agreement TPP cannot be eradicated and efforts should focus on management.

What’s included in the plan?

The Transition to management plan runs from September 2017 to May 2018, and includes:

  • scientific research and development to improve our understanding of TPP, its biology and options for control
  • national and enterprise management plans to help manage TPP on properties and throughout the supply chain
  • targeted surveillance for TPP/CLso complex
  • market access and trade.

TPP research and development

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is undertaking a range of research and development activities to improve our scientific understanding of TPP and increase control options available to growers.

TPP literature review

A literature review will be completed to identify the best available research on TPP/CLso from Australia and overseas, and help guide future research investment.

Pre-harvest trials

Pre-harvest treatments help maximise the quality of product intended for markets, and are an important part of managing TPP along the entire supply chain.

Pre-harvest trials will evaluate the effectiveness of using chemical and biological controls for TPP.

Insecticide trials at the department’s glasshouse facilities aim to identify effective chemicals for use in tomato, potato and capsicum crops.

Several insecticides will be assessed, including insecticides already registered for use in tomato, potato and capsicum crops, but not currently registered for use on TPP.

The department has also commenced a joint trial with Biological Services, to evaluate the effectiveness of three different insect species against TPP.

Brown lacewings, ladybirds and a predatory mirid bug will be trialled in tomato, capsicum and chilli crops.

Post-harvest disinfestation trials

Disinfestation of capsicum, chilli and tomato is required for interstate and international market access.

The department is undertaking a small-scale chemical effectiveness trial for post-harvest disinfestation of these crops.

Research by the department will feed into the national TPP research and development agenda.

National TPP management plan

A National Management Plan will be developed to give the community and trading partners confidence TPP is being actively managed in Australian production areas.

AUSVEG will lead the development of the national plan, in collaboration with state and federal governments, and industry partners.  

Enterprise management plans for growers

An essential component of the Transition to management plan is the development, and implementation, of Enterprise management plans for affected industries.

These plans will outline measures to effectively control TPP and demonstrate industry commitment to minimising its spread and impact. Enterprise management plans will be critical in supporting ongoing efforts to renew and maintain market access, and underpin certification and assurance schemes.

Assisted by the Enterprise management plan coordinator, each industry will complete enterprise management plans addressing their entire supply chain and will include:

  • understanding pest and pathogen biology and their identification
  • identification of risk pathways
  • application of control and management options
  • biosecurity awareness and implementation, for example signage, surveillance and sanitation
  • post farm-gate management.

Surveillance

The department is in the final stages of its spring 2017 TPP surveillance program.

‘Sticky traps’ were installed on commercial and non-commercial properties in and around the Perth metropolitan areas with known populations of TPP.

The department had great support from the WA community with more than 1000 properties registering to host a ‘sticky trap’ during the surveillance period.

Each trap collected is inspected by department entomologists and any TPP collected were tested for CLso. About 4000 traps will be processed through the department’s diagnostic laboratories. At the time of publication, there have been no detections of CLso in Western Australia.

A second round of surveillance will be undertaken in early 2018. 

Other states are required to develop surveillance plans for the pest in accordance with national and international standards.

Market access and trade

The department continues to work on mitigating the risk of spread of TPP through appropriate movement controls.

This includes developing nationally harmonised protocols for interstate trade and maintaining confidence of international partners that TPP is being effectively managed in Australia.

Quarantine Area

A Quarantine Area is currently in place which includes the Perth metropolitan and surrounding local government areas.

Movement conditions apply to commercially-produced and home-grown host plants or nursery stock grown within the Quarantine Area.

Prescribed treatment is required for host plants, such as seedlings or nursery stock, where they are moving from within the Quarantine Area to specified local government areas in Western Australia, and are outlined in the published QAN.

Treatment guidelines maintain a satisfactory level of effectiveness against TPP while improving the practicality of spray application and dispatch timing for the nursery and garden industry.

TPP control options

Growers are reminded there a number of pre-harvest control options available to assist with management of TPP in host crops and nursery stock.

Growers have a responsibility to ensure chemicals are used according to the label and permit instructions.

More information

For more information contact Ian Wilkinson, TPP Project Coordinator on +61(0)8 9780 6278 or Gavin Foord, Enterprise Management Plan Coordinator, Foord Systems on +61(0)4 35018189

More information including signs and symptoms of TPP, and control options are available at agric.wa.gov.au/tpp.