Wine Industry Newsletter

Using smart phone apps to strengthen biosecurity

Using the app in a vineyard
Development officer Alec McCarthy using the MyPestGuide Grapes app in a vineyard

As part of a four year project, with support from Royalties for Regions, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), developed and tested the use of mobile apps to help strengthen biosecurity for the viticulture industry in Western Australia.

MyPestGuide Grapes was developed to be an on-the-spot identification guide that also provided some background information and management tips on potential pest organisms of grapes.

The app is available for iOS and Android mobile operating platforms as well as online.  MyPestGuide Grapes app has been downloaded by over 4200 users across the two platforms.

MyPestGuide Reporter was developed to provide an easy system for reporting all plant pests.

The system allows for up to four images, along with descriptive text and a GPS location tag, to be captured with the report.

MyPestGuide Reporter can be accessed from within MyPestGuide Grapes or operated independently.

The app is available for iOS and Android mobile operating platforms as well as online. MyPestGuide Reporter app has been downloaded by over 15 500 potential users across the two platforms.

There have been over 47 000 reports submitted by over 5300 unique users.

The number of reports of pest issues on grapevines submitted to MyPestGuide has increased annually since the release of MyPestGuide Reporter and MyPestGuide Grapes, from 17 in season 2015/16 to 35 in season 2017/18, with a total of 85 reports.

While the number of reports of pests on grapes submitted to MyPestGuide has been modest, there have been an overall substantial number of reports submitted to MyPestGuide.

There have been no reports of previously unreported pests of significance to the grape industry in WA during the project period, however MyPestGuide assisted in identifying 16 pests that were either new records to WA or demonstrated an increased range. This provides an indication as to the potential of MyPestGuide to provide biosecurity benefit to the viticulture industry in WA if efforts continue to encourage uptake and reporting.

More details are available in the full report available online via the ‘e-surveillance for pests and diseases in the WA grape industry’ webpage.

It is recommended that the department negotiate with the viticulture industry to continue to maintain MyPestGuide Grapes and develop targeted promotional activities to continue to increase the number of reports submitted of pests on grapes.

For more information contact Alec McCarthy, Development Officer on +61(0)8 9780 6273