New Zealand, Australia

Chasing after psyllids: Tasmanian tomato potato psyllid research used across Australia

FLYING UNDER THE RADAR: Tomato potato psyllid. Picture: Western Australia Primary Industries and Regional Development departmentTomato potato psyllid is considered a serious threat to Tasmania’s potato, tomato and capsicum crops, with research conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture used to manage the pest around the country. Tasmanian researchers have conducted a tomato potato psyllid surveillance program in commercial potato crops since 2011. The project, which is funded by North-West Tasmania potato processors Simplot, McCain and Smiths as well as Horticulture Innovation Australia, became even more relevant when tomato potato psyllid was discovered in Western Australia last year. Its proximity to New Zealand makes Tasmania a potential location for psyllid migration, AUSVEG Tomato Potato Psyllid program coordinator Alan Nankivell said. The institute’s tomato potato psyllid research involved placing 2,300 yellow sticky traps in potato crops across Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia since the program started. To date Tasmania has been declared free of tomato potato psyllid. Read more