Werribee South, 30 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD, is an intensive market garden production region utilising recycled irrigation water from the nearby Western Treatment Plant. Production within the area is under constant pressure from urban encroachment, and avoidance of issues of land use conflict demand innovative approaches to tackle production challenges. A particular challenge to be explored at the site is an integrated area wide management (AWM) approach amongst growers in the region.
Championed by commercial seedling nursery, Gro-Link, the site will build on the homogenous cropping nature of the Werribee South region and contained geographical area to examine opportunities for a collective approach to integrated area wide management of pests, including monitoring, reporting and beneficial release.
The site will look to tackle key pest issues in the region, including:
- Diamondback moth
- Rutherglen bug
- Fungus gnats
- Cabbage White Butterfly
This will be undertaken through a regional approach, including region wide monitoring, alert reporting of pest pressures, management recommendations of control, regional approach to beneficial releases and grower group discussions on topics such as beneficial insect host crops through insectariums.
The site presents a number of complexities due to the large number of stakeholders involved including, growers, advisors, entomologists and other industry services providers.