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The national program of WSU-AOA integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) Field Days was completed in mid-February, with around 300 growers attending the 10 events held across the six olive-growing states.

Organised and run by the Australian Olive Association and Western Sydney University as part of the olive levy-funded project: An integrated pest and disease management extension program for the olive industry (OL17001), the program saw a team of industry experts travel across the country for a series of intensive day-long workshops.

While focussed particularly on IPDM information around black scale, olive lace bug and anthracnose, the workshop programs also included product quality, marketing and broader grove management topics, providing an “olive-industry 101” overview in a single day.

Project lead Dr Robert Spooner-Hart rated the program as an unmitigated success, for both the collective learning resulting from the field days themselves and also the opportunity to extend that learning to the wider industry – and into the future.

“I wanted to work with the AOA because we didn’t want a project that would just end with a final report,” he said.

“We wanted to leave a legacy for the industry and something that would be ongoing, updated and accessible. The logical way to do that was to work with the industry association, and the industry association is the logical repository for all the information in the long term.”

To that end, the presentations from the AOA IPDM Field Day program and the video of the Roseworthy, South Australia event are now available for viewing at any time on the OliveBiz website. Anyone who missed out on attending the field days, and those wanting to review or reference specific information, can access them all directly here.

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the Hort Innovation olive research and development levy, co-investment from the Australian Olive Association and contributions from the Australian Government.