Harvesting the benefits of CropSafe
21 June 2017
Victorian agronomists going about their everyday work are contributing towards keeping Victoria's grains industry exotic pest and disease free through participation in CropSafe.
Aproximately180 agronomists who work across Victoria are part of CropSafe, an industry surveillance network. Together they are continuously on the lookout for pest and plant symptoms that could potentially be an exotic plant pest or disease.
Agriculture Victoria agronomist Dale Boyd said exotic plant pests and diseases posed a significant threat to Victoria's cropping sector.
"CropSafe surveillance is aimed at increasing identification and reporting of plant pests and diseases by agronomists," Mr Boyd said.
"It is recognised as delivering a reassuring biosecurity service that protects the industry."
"CropSafe is delivered by Agriculture Victoria, in collaboration with a number of major agribusiness companies. It involves 85 per cent of Victoria's agronomists."
Mr Boyd said CropSafe was now being considered by other states, looking to implement the successful model.
"Currently, early on in the season, agronomists may see insect damage on crops and spots developing on plants." he said.
"Herbicide damage could also be affecting crops; the main factor to trigger a sample submission is if there are odd symptoms among healthy plants, symptoms you would not normally see. High disease pressures from last season could have provided carryover sources of infection. If not correctly identified and managed early these symptoms could lead to crop production impacts for 2017."
CropSafe agronomists undergo regular training on sample collection and identification, as well as ensuring they have access to all up-to-date industry information.
"CropSafe works closely with other relevant projects such as GrowNotes™ Alert, eXtensionAUS and CropPro to ensure our agronomists have the tools and knowledge required to be efficient and effective in the field, he said.
Categorised under: Agriculture