Enhancing surveillance for exotic stored pests in the Australian grains industry using a partnership approach with industry and government.
Verifying freedom from exotic pests such as Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) & Karnal Bunt (Tilletia indica) is critical to supporting & maintaining access for Australian grain producers to international markets. Despite Australia's geographical isolation & strong quarantine systems, increasing levels of travel & trade continues to place pressure on our biosecurity systems, emphasising the need for improving our regional efforts in prevention, preparedness & surveillance to mitigate risks. The Australian Grains Farm Biosecurity Program (GFBP) is a national initiative to assist in the development & implementation of improved biosecurity practice, playing a vital role in the education of exotic pests & the role of surveillance by industry. The GFBP has undertaken a targeted surveillance program for stored product pests, with Khapra beetle as the main focus. A range of sites based on potential risk groups & pathways (e.g. farming enterprises, seed distributors & agricultural stores) were targeted, with different approaches used across the three grain growing regions of Australia depending on State activities & pre-existing collaborators. All regions used a combination of pheromone traps & other sampling methods appropriate for host materials & environment. The surveillance is aimed at strengthening evidence of absence, building industry knowledge & participation in grain storage surveillance & promoting improved management practices around storage. These regionally specific engagement methods & surveillance efforts are discussed. Australia remains free of Khapra beetle.