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Tackling Queensland Fruit Fly with adaptive area wide management

10 months ago

Image: Queensland Fruit Fly. Photo Credit: Andrew Jessup

Article Contributed by Hort Innovation

Growers and communities have been exploring new ways to manage Queensland Fruit Fly, or Qfly, thanks to Hort Innovation’s Adaptive Area Wide Management Project.

Adaptive Area Wide Management (AWM) is used to manage mobile pests around the world. It is a coordinated approach to reduce pest habitats within a defined area.

Hort Innovation Research and Development Manager, Penny Measham, said exploring new and collaborative ways to manage biosecurity such as AWM, was key to keeping Australian farms productive, efficient and profitable.

“Qfly is a major pest for Australian horticultural crops,” she said.

“It causes millions of dollars worth of damage each year and poses a major barrier to market access for Australian products. Urban areas pose a significant challenge because they are a breeding ground for flies throughout the year.”

“Communication and community education have been critical to managing Qfly. The AWM guidelines are helping growers and communities understand the basics of AWM. It’s great to see this initiative making a real difference,” Ms Measham said.

The AWM guidelines developed from the project help growers and communities to understand:

  • the basics of AWM

  • how to get started in implementing AWM for the management of Qfly

  • the opportunities, such as the SITplus program, to implement Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) once AWM has been successfully applied.

The AWM guidelines were developed in consultation with stakeholders impacted by Qfly and are now being used to bolster AWM efforts in a number of regions. The Goulburn Valley community is preparing for sterile fly releases this year and table grape growers in Sunraysia are making good use of the guidelines to build a co-ordinated approach to fight fruit fly.

The project, which began in 2015, is funded by the Australian Government’s Rural R&D for Profit program and is supported by state and territory governments, CSIRO and Wine Australia.

Find out more about the Rural R&D for Profit Program.

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