The enthusiasm of the participants at Exercise Blueprint held in Toowoomba on 7–8 August highlights the desire of the cotton industry to be ready for a real-life exotic pest incursion.
Exercise Blueprint used a fictional detection of cotton blue disease on a cotton farm near Dalby, Queensland, in a range of discussions and activities to find out how the cotton industry would respond to an incursion of this exotic pest.
The main aims of the exercise were to identify:
- how the industry would be engaged in a response
- the communication channels industry would use to ensure the right messages would reach their stakeholders.
Attendees came from a wide range of cotton industry sectors including Cotton Australia, CottonInfo, Cotton Research Development Corporations (CRDC), growers, agronomists, gin operators, researchers, extension officers, the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and NSW Department of Primary Industries.
The exercise was funded by CRDC to improve the biosecurity preparedness of the cotton industry.