Grape yield, berry and wine quality can be severely affected by vineyard pests and diseases and managing these in a changing climate can be challenging. 

Through Wine Australia-funded research, many advances have been made in understanding the extent of, and developing management strategies for, pests and diseases in Australian vineyards. 

This section provides resources and factsheets to assist in the management of pests and diseases, implementing best-practice spray programs and integrated pest-management strategies, which can contribute to improving resource management and sustainability for the Australian grape and wine community. 

Current research projects addressing pest and disease management can be found under Strategy 4: Improving resource management and sustainability.

Further resources are available on the Australian Wine Research Institute website, which has a range of information on vineyard pests and disease as well as guidelines for Agrochemical use in the ‘dog book’. 

Endemic disease concerns

Grapevine trunk diseases such as eutypa dieback and botryosphaeria dieback (bot canker) can cause significant yield reduction and threaten the sustainability of vineyards. Wine Australia-funded research has focused on management under Australian conditions with new knowledge included in a best practice management guide, factsheets and case studies in this section. 

Powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis bunch rot are considered to be the top three disease concerns in Australian vineyards. The factsheets in this section provide information on the management of these and other diseases including phomopsis, and viral diseases such as grapevine fleck, grapevine leafroll, Australian grapevine yellows and rugose wood.

Photo: James Hook
Downy mildew sporulation
Photo: James Hook
Downy mildew oil spot

Exotic pests and diseases

Australia’s isolation and strict quarantine processes have protected the sector from many diseases and pests that have had a major impact in other wine producing countries around the world. 

To continue to protect the competitiveness of the Australian grape and wine community, Wine Australia invests in preparing for possible exotic pest incursions through support for the development of diagnostic protocols for high priority pests identified in the Viticulture Industry Biosecurity Plan and the accompanying Biosecurity Manual for the Viticulture Industry. Current National Diagnostic Protocols for the Australian grape and wine community can be found on the Plant Health Australia website. 

Vinehealth Australia is also committed to minimising the risk of pests and diseases in Australian vineyards and providing effective pest and disease management policies, and information on best practice biosecurity measures. Advice on vineyard protection and phylloxera prevention can be found on their website.

Photo: Agriculture Victoria, Rutherglen
Phylloxera is managed under strict biosecurity measures.
Photo: Agriculture Victoria, Rutherglen
Phylloxera adults, nymphs and eggs.

National Plant Biosecurity System

In March 2017, Australia’s seven plant Research and Development Corporations entered into a partnership to streamline funding efforts and plans to grow bio-security investment partners.

The partnership will see an increase in the research coordination, reduction in duplication and will fill gaps in plant biosecurity research and development. It will also create better linkages between industry research and the national biosecurity systems managed by the Australian and state and territory governments.

The group comprises Wine Australia, Forest Wood Products Australia, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Sugar Research Australia and Horticulture Innovation Australia.

Read the Research and Development Corporations’ position paper here.

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.