Nine integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) workshops will be held across Australia in 2018, to enable Australian olive growers to make better decisions to manage three major olive pests and diseases including black scale, olive lace bug and anthracnose.

The workshops are a key component of the new project An integrated pest and disease management extension program for the olive industry (OL17001). A strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Olive Fund, the project aims to equip small to medium sized businesses and new industry entrants with the understanding and resources to efficiently implement IPDM and monitoring programs.

Project lead Associate Professor Robert Spooner-Hart from Western Sydney University (WSU) has more than 40 years’ experience in horticultural IPDM including 20 years in olives, and said the workshops will particularly address the key issues small to medium growers face when managing pests and disease.

“The workshops will be a collaboration of highly experienced horticultural IPDM researchers and extension scientists, Australian Olive Association (AOA), Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and state olive associations,” Professor Spooner-Hart said.

“A goal of the workshops is for growers to be more aware of their options for pest management, their benefits and disadvantages, and to better understand how they can select and use chemical and non-chemical control strategies more wisely.

“The workshops will also address using modern technology for monitoring pest, disease and beneficial species to help determine the appropriate timing for chemical or biological interventions.”

The workshops will cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Principles and practices of IPDM
  • Monitoring for pests, diseases and beneficial species
  • Biosecurity
  • Detailed information on black scale, olive lace bug and anthracnose
  • Factors influencing spread and incidence in groves
  • Strategies for conventional and organic management
  • Advantages and disadvantages of management strategies
  • Importance of timing, application and targeting of interventions.

Workshop dates and locations are currently being finalised, with the events likely to be held after harvest this year. Keep an eye out for updates in the Grove Innovation e-newsletter, Olivegrower and Processor magazine and AOA communication channels.

Growers are encouraged to participate in a survey that will also shortly be circulated through the AOA, to help identify current IPM knowledge gaps and inform the development of extension materials.

For more information please contact Greg Seymour, CEO of the AOA, on 0476 760 160 or ceo@australianolives.com.au. Alternatively, please contact Professor Spooner-Hart on r.spooner-hart@westernsydney.edu.au or 0414 953 129.

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the olive research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.