The management practices listed below not only help to prevent unwanted soil and plant material entering your property, they also ensure you are well placed to prevent spread within your truffle orchard and quickly identify any new pest issues:
- Ensure you know the pest status of your propagation material to the extent of current technology. Keep a record of all planting material. Refer to DPIRD article ‘Sourcing inoculated trees for truffle production in Western Australia’ for more details on sourcing quality planting stock.
- Remove weeds and volunteer plants that could act as alternate hosts and harbour unwanted mycorrhiza or pest problems.
- Minimise water runoff and soil water erosion that can carry soil around the site – both into the truffle orchard and from block to block within the orchard.
- Conduct regular surveillance of the truffle orchard and associated yards, including around your wash down bay, sump and water collection run-off areas, to pick up trouble spots and potential pest incursions.
- Record any pest issues found within and nearby the orchard and report anything unknown – MyPestGuide Reporter provides a quick and efficient method of reporting pest issues.
- Ensure your staff are well aware of what key pest threats look like.
- Disinfect equipment, particularly pruning equipment, at regular intervals to minimise the potential for spread.
Animals, either livestock or wildlife, can introduce contaminant fungi, including other mycorrhizae, and pests into a truffle orchard and/or spread them within an orchard, therefore:
- Regularly check and maintain fences. The standard of fencing will largely be dependent on the expected level of pressure from animals, namely; kangaroos, pigs and rabbits.
- Take steps to prevent livestock movement into the truffle orchard.
- If necessary, implement a feral animal control program. You may need to work with neighbours to co-ordinate feral animal control. Consult your local shire and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for any regulations or permits that might be required.