New guides boost fight against truffle pests

With the Western Australian truffle harvest well underway, commercial truffle growers have been making the most of new guides designed to strengthen their pest management practices.

Complimentary hard copies of the Australian Truffle Orchards – Pest and disease field guide have been distributed to truffle enterprises as part of a nationwide rollout.

The guide can also be downloaded for free on the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) website along with the electronic only Australian Truffle Orchards – Integrated pest and disease management manual.

Both documents are products of the Pests and diseases of truffles and their host trees in Australia project, which ran from 2015 to 2019.

DPIRD was the project’s lead research agency and a co-funder with the AgriFutures™ Emerging Industries Program, the Australian Truffle Growers Association, Truffle Producers WA, Australian National University and Department of Primary Industries NSW.

DPIRD development officer Alec McCarthy said truffle industry leaders had reacted positively to the guide and manual, which would help growers identify and respond to the pests and diseases most likely to be found in their orchards.

“The full colour field guide provides both pictures and texts, including descriptions of organisms potentially found in association with truffle production, signs of possible damage and means of monitoring,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Its coverage extends to organisms commonly associated with truffle organisms but of low or non-pest status, as well as significant exotic pests or diseases that are not yet known to exist within Australia.

“The manual contains more detailed information on these organisms and specific actions that growers can take to limit production impacts.

“The guide and manual will be essential tools for all members of the high growth, high value Australian truffle industry, which saw exports of eight tonnes from Western Australia alone last year.”

Mr McCarthy said DPIRD was committed to working closely with industry in responding to potential COVID-19 impacts on trade and production.

“With the WA black truffle harvest now in full swing, I encourage the public to seek out and enjoy these exotic condiments while at their freshest,” he said.

Any WA commercial truffle grower who has not received their copy of the field guide by now is advised to contact Mr McCarthy at the DPIRD Bunbury office, 9780 6273.

The electronic versions of the guide and manual can be downloaded at the DPIRD website.

For More information : Press Release – West Australia – Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development