Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fruit Fly Outbreak - Update 1/2/2014

FRUIT FLY OUTBREAK AT SELLICKS BEACH

Immediately report any maggots found in fruit directly to PIRSA Plant Health on 1300 666 010.

Respect South Australia’s strong quarantine laws and make sure your transport company, contract pickers and seasonal staff are aware that there is the potential they could spread fruit fly accidentally.

Yesterday afternoon Drew Noon, Tom Harvey from MVGWTA and myself met on your behalf with representatives from Biosecurity SA full information will follow as they update their website but we wanted to get this information out quickly. Grapes are a relatively poor host of Fruit Fly. There is only a low risk of our activities transmitting them.

It is mostly good news. While the Fruit Fly outbreak will last a minimum of 12 weeks  and fresh Fruit Fly finds are possible - all growers can harvest their grapes as normal with the following provisos;

    1. There are approximately 50x growers in the 7.5km suspension zone, the boundary is approximately Almond Grove Rd, Colville Rd, Flour Mill Rd, Port Willunga Rd and 5x growers in the 1.5km quarantine zone. Please see the attached photo of the map. A high quality version of this will be put up on the  BiosecuritySA website shortly. If you are in the 7.5km zone you will be getting this information from Biosecurity SA in the next few days in the mail. MVGWTA will also try to contact you through their database.

    A high resolution map will be available shortly.

    The 5x growers in the quarantine zone will be able to harvest their fruit and will have routine baiting on their vineyard posts. If you are in the 1.5km zone Biosecurity SA will be letting you know in person next week.

    2. Growers  within the 7.5km radius of the Fruit Fly will need to obtain a permit from the Chief Inspector. This can be done in advance. You will be able to do this  in person from the  Fruit Fly Management Office which is being set up at the Aldinga Council depo on Lacey Crt, Aldinga – 9-5pm or by ringing the Fruit Fly Hotline - 1300 666 010.

    3. It is important that your grape carriers are aware of the quarantine zone and the need for the fruit to be covered. With most harvest just starting now and ramping up over the next couple of weeks they need to make sure they have provisions to cover bins or bulk loads. Consider using shade cloth as it will stop any flies leaving your grape load while being easier to handle than tarpaulins. In the Riverland they are successfully using shade cloth.

    4. Harvesters are recommended to be washed out when they leave the quarantine zone to prevent the chance that Fruit Fly travel too. This can be done with a hose.

    5. We are going to prepare an A4 sheet with this information that will come  up with the next CropWatch McLaren Vale on Thursday. It will also have a sheet you can copy and stick to your grape bin and give to your carrier, just the facts for them to be aware of.

    It will be good practice  for your winery to process fruit from the 7.5km suspension zone quickly or store it on a hard pad. i.e limit the chance of any maggots falling out into the ground and pupating. Winemaking is  not affected.

Good news, just a little bit more work and care needed but this won’t stop your normal harvest.

Thanks also to Ben Lacey and Belinda Bramley for their work behind the scenes.

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