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Vineyard and Winery Biosecurity Protection Guidelines

To build better awareness of the importance of best practice vineyard biosecurity, the Phylloxera – Stop the Spread information kit is available that reinforces:

  • the importance of grape phylloxera management and awareness
  • how to implement on-farm best practice biosecurity standards and protocols.

 

The Yarra Valley Wine Growers Association launched the Phylloxera-Stop the Spread biosecurity awareness campaign in 2016.  The kit offers growers and industry members free information on how to implement best practice farm biosecurity measures to reduce the risk associated with the spread of phylloxera.

 

The Phylloxera Stop the Spread kit provides a valuable range of information tools, including videos, how-to pocket guide and fact sheets that are available in multiple languages.

 

The guidelines below are a brief summary of the kit’s key information, and are provided here as a reminder to help vineyard owners and winemakers protect their vineyards from biosecurity risks such as phylloxera.

 

Damaging pests and diseases are usually spread between vineyards by human related activity. In some cases pests and diseases can move short distances between adjacent vines and vineyards and fungal spores can be wind-blown some distance.

 

The biggest risks for transferring pests and diseases between vineyards are:

  • Vineyard equipment and machinery
  • Grape harvesting items
  • People and their vehicles
  • Grapevine planting material

 

These vineyard guidelines are based on two simple strategies:

  1. Restricting vineyard access – keep the pest out.
  2. Cleaning and disinfestation – remove or kill it on or before arrival.

 

1. Restricting vineyard access

The more people, machinery and vehicles that enter your property, the greater the risk that one of them will bring an unwanted organism, such as phylloxera, with them, and accidentally contaminate or infest your vineyard. Your aim should be to limit access to your vineyard as much as possible – particularly to people, vehicles and equipment that have recently been in other vineyards.

General guidelines for restricting vineyard access

  1. Controlled entry point. Have one entry point to your vineyard and forbid unauthorised entry or entry when the property is not supervised. If you have gates, keep them closed and locked (if an absentee owner).
  2. Signs. Use signs to advise the conditions and restrictions of entry to the property (include a contact phone number for people to ring if access is required).
  3. Restrict entry. Don’t encourage unnecessary visits to the grapevines themselves. Prohibit entry to vine rows as much as possible. Sales people can talk to you in your shed or office.
  4. Reported arrival. Require all visitors to report to an office or person on arrival and before moving close to vines.
  5. Check recent vineyard visits. Ask all potential visitors about recent visits to vineyards – particularly in other regions, states or countries. Consider denying access to anyone who has been in or near a vineyard overseas or in a known PIZ or in a vineyard in a region with a known presence of unwanted biosecurity issues. Deny access if they are wearing the same clothes, footwear or using the same vehicle, without thorough cleaning and disinfestation (see next section).
  6. Visitor log. Consider keeping a record of all visitors to the vineyard, including date and purpose of visit. This would be very helpful if you ever had to trace the origin of an infestation on your property.
  7. Control vehicle access. Provide parking for visitor vehicles away from vines – preferably on a hard surface. Prevent or discourage anyone taking shortcuts through vineyards; they should stick to roads, designated tracks or headlands.
  8. Fences and gates. Physically restrict access to your vineyard as much as possible with fences and (closed) gates – especially along main roads or where people tend to enter the vineyard without authorisation (e.g. to take short-cuts).
  9. Provide information. Anyone unfamiliar with phylloxera or other biosecurity issues and its impact should be provided with information (e.g. brochures, pamphlets, maps, website addresses).

 

 

2. Vineyard and winery hygiene

Hygiene includes cleaning and disinfestation.

  • Cleaning removes the biosecurity risk itself, or the soil, water or grapevine material that is carrying it.
  • Disinfestation does not necessarily remove the organism, but kills it. This process is particularly important when the risk vector is difficult to clean (e.g. a grape harvester or in the crevices on the soles of boots).

 

*Note: Recent peer-reviewed research undertaken by Dr Kevin Powell has shown that footwear must be immersed for at least 60 seconds in a 2% chlorine solution footbath to ensure disinfestation against a range of endemic phylloxera strains. This change supersedes the 30-second recommendation in the current National Phylloxera Management Protocol and is effective from January 2017.

 

General guidelines for vineyard hygiene

  1. Use a designated cleaning area. Cleaning should be carried out in a designated area wherever possible – preferably on a hard surface (gravel, concrete or bitumen) and well away from grapevines.
  2. No run-off onto vines. Water run-off from cleaning must not be able to flow onto or next to any vines.
  3. Make cleaning more effective. The use of pressure cleaners and/or scrubbing brushes makes cleaning more effective. Detergents are also good for breaking down dirt, and using hot water rather than cold may assist in removing sticky substances in particular (e.g. on grape bins).

General guidelines for winery hygiene

  1. Grape products. The following guidelines apply to the transport and processing of must, unfiltered juice and marc between vineyards within a PIZ, from vineyards in a PRZ, or from a region with a recognised biosecurity issue.
  2. On arrival. Ensure trucks and tankers arriving at the winery are clean and have adhered to any legal or specified requirements. Check copies of any documentation.
  3. Designated area. Use a designated area at the winery for receival from outside vineyards on a hard surface area that can be cleaned and waste runs to a containment area away from vines. Clean all equipment used in the process.
  4. Staff movements. Restrict movements of winery staff onto vineyards until they have been through a cleaning and disinfestation process.
  5. Fermentation. Keep must and unfiltered juice securely contained in fermenters until fermentation is complete.
  6. Grape bins. Clean all grape bins and trucks prior to departing your winery.
  7. Disposal. Do not dispose of unfermented MOG (material other than grapes), stalks, marc or solids near vines. Ensure it undergoes a thorough composting process before using it on vines.

 

3. Procedures for particular phylloxera host vectors

3.1 Vineyard equipment and machinery

For example (but not confined to):

  • mechanical harvesters
  • tractors
  • spray equipment
  • bulldozers and back-hoes
  • leaf pluckers
  • pre-pruning machines
  • slashers
  • cutter bars.

 

Restricted access and hygiene procedures*

  • Tell contractors in advance to clean and disinfest machinery before arrival, and make sure they are aware of the legal requirements.
  • Check certification on machinery coming in to your vineyard to ensure it complies with the regulations.
  • Inspect machinery visually. Do not allow any visibly dirty machinery to operate in your vineyard.
  • Park trailers on hard stand areas and unload equipment well away from vines.
  • Use a designated wash-down area, where water run-off cannot reach vines. Also consider installing a dedicated wash-down bay if you often have contractor machinery from other regions or states on to your property.
  • Remove any parts of the machine that may hold dirt or plant fragments, and to provide access to remote areas of the machine.
  • Thoroughly clean the machine or equipment, concentrating on the underside and other areas most likely to collect soil or plant fragments.
  • Wash any associated equipment or vehicles – particularly wheels and mudguards.
  • Machinery originating in a PIZ should be treated in a heat shed before it leaves the PIZ and comes onto your property. It is suggested that all machinery coming onto the property be treated in a heat shed.
  • Disinfestation procedures include hot water treatment (2 mins >70ºC), steam (above 100ºC) or dry heat (75 mins >45ºC, or 2 hrs >40 ºC).

 

*Note: Recent peer-reviewed research undertaken by Dr Kevin Powell has shown that footwear must be immersed for at least 60 seconds in a 2% chlorine solution footbath to ensure disinfestation against a range of endemic phylloxera strains. This change supersedes the 30-second recommendation in the current National Phylloxera Management Protocol and is effective from January 2017.

 

3.2 Harvesting related items

For example:

  • picking buckets
  • grape bins
  • bin trailers
  • bin cranes
  • trucks bringing grapes onto property.

 

Restricted access and hygiene procedures*

  • Inspect bins on arrival to ensure they are free of dirt in the lift channels and any grape residues. Check that the appropriate legal requirements have been followed. Reject loads that have not followed the legal requirements.
  • If obtaining bins from a hire company, insist that they cleaned and disinfested before dispatch to your vineyard.
  • It is preferable to have picking buckets dedicated to your vineyard and they should not be loaned out to other vineyards.
  • Be extra vigilant when conditions during harvest are cool and muddy.
  • Unloading of bin trailers with cranes should be on a hard stand area away from the vineyard where no wash-down material can go back on to vines. Grape bins should be cleaned both inside and outside before leaving the winery that is supplying them to your vineyard.
  • Clean the lift channels on the bins.
  • Remove grape residue and dirt from inside and outside of bins and from trays, axles, mudguards and tyres of bin trailers, cranes and trucks.
  • If you use picking buckets from another vineyard, make sure they are cleaned and disinfested before entering your vineyard.
  • Disinfestation procedures include hot water treatment (2 mins >70ºC), steam (above 100ºC) or dry heat (2 hours >40ºC or 75 mins >45 ºC).

 

Note: Recent peer-reviewed research undertaken by Dr Kevin Powell has shown that footwear must be immersed for at least 60 seconds in a 2% chlorine solution footbath to ensure disinfestation against a range of endemic phylloxera strains. This change supersedes the 30-second recommendation in the current National Phylloxera Management Protocol and is effective from January 2017

 

 

3.3 People and their vehicles

For example:

  • contractors and labour teams
  • casual labourers
  • winery staff, consultants, Grape Liaison Officers (GLO)
  • tourists
  • agents, sales reps, meter readers,
  • ancillary service providers e.g. power, telecommunication, gas, etc.

 

Restricted access and hygiene procedures*

  • Restrict access to your vineyard as much as possible.
  • Ask labour hire companies to ensure workers arrive with clean boots and tools each day.
  • Check previous work sites and, if people have come from a vineyard in a PIZ or a region of unknown phylloxera status or recognised biosecurity risk, insist they have changed into clean clothing and footwear, and that vehicles are clean, before entering the vineyard.
  • Provide resources and instruction on quarantine and vineyard hygiene to all workers before allowing them to commence work.
  • Do not allow visitor vehicles to drive in the vineyard. Use a vineyard vehicle wherever possible.
  • Visually inspect footwear and vehicles for mud and plant material before allowing them onto the vineyard..Require visitors to clean footwear as follows:

– scrub boots with a scrubbing brush to remove mud – preferably in water and detergent

– dilute household bleach with water in a tub to give a 2% active chlorine concentration1. Cleaned boots must be dipped in the freshly prepared chlorine solution for a minimum of 60 seconds

– rinse thoroughly in clean water

– follow all OH&S procedures as directed on the container of bleach.

  • Small hand tools can be cleaned and disinfested in the same way. Spraying clothing with fly spray will reduce but not eliminate phylloxera and other pests.
  • Alternatively, provide boots and disposable overalls for visitors/casual workers to wear while on your property.
  • All clothing used in vineyards in PIZs or regions of unknown phylloxera status or with recognised biosecurity issues should be washed in hot water and detergent after working in vineyards in those areas.
  • If visitor vehicles are required to drive between vine rows, clean the tyres and underside first.

 

*Note: Recent peer-reviewed research undertaken by Dr Kevin Powell has shown that footwear must be immersed for at least 60 seconds in a 2% chlorine solution footbath to ensure disinfestation against a range of endemic phylloxera strains. This change supersedes the 30-second recommendation in the current National Phylloxera Management Protocol and is effective from January 2017.

 

 

3.4 Grapevine planting material

For example:

  • cuttings
  • rootlings
  • grafted rootlings
  • potted vines (dormant and green material).

 

Restricted access and hygiene procedures*

  • It is prohibited to remove cuttings, rootlings and potted vines from a PIZ. Potted vines are prohibited from a PRZ into a PEZ but cuttings and rootlings can be imported under conditions (contact DEPI Plant Standards).
  • Buy only high quality material of known origin and health status from an accredited nursery or vine improvement organisation, preferably from a PEZ.
  • Visually inspect dormant vines on arrival and reject any with dirt on stems or roots.
  • Clearly record the source and other details of the material planted on the vineyard. Planting material should arrive clean.
  • Rootlings/cuttings can be rinsed clean of soil.
  • Nursery should provide evidence of the hot water procedure used.
  • Require that all material be hot water treated before leaving the nursery2.

 

2 There are two different hot water treatments. One is a longer duration treatment recommended for cuttings prior to propagation that reduces certain internal pathogens such as crown gall and phytoplasmas (50ºC for 30 minutes). The other is a treatment for pests such as nematodes and phylloxera (55ºC for 5 minutes) that should be used on field grown rootlings.

 

Root Stocks

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Reporting Suspected Disease

If you think that you may have found phylloxera on your property, contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or email plant.standards@ecodev.vic.gov.au