Improving plant pest management through cross industry deployment of smart sensors, diagnostics and forecasting

In November 2017, a flagship Rural R&D for Profit plant biosecurity research project commenced as part of the newly established Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI). The $21 million dollar cross-industry initiative is designed to provide the foundation for a nationwide plant pest surveillance network that serves to benefit both primary producers and government. The project will develop a mobile cross‐industry plant pest surveillance network and includes 16 project partners. Funded through the Rural R&D for Profit Program (RRD4P) and seven plant Research and Development Corporations (RDC’s). The surveillance initiative will underpin existing and future surveillance initiatives, which may be regional or commodity – based (or both). It will support for a nation‐wide surveillance network for grains, cotton, sugar, horticultural products, wine and forestry products.  The network will move to respond to industries’ seasonal needs, allowing greater efficiencies through a cross‐industry approach that provides high quality, consistent data on plant pests that are economically relevant to multiple industries. In addition, the initiative will support claims of freedom from priority exotic pests and perform an important function in exotic pest detection for delimiting purposes during incursion responses.

Hort Innovation’s newly appointed R&D Biosecurity Coordinator, Jess Holliday, will collaborate with the research partners’ to deliver the project over its five-year lifespan (2017-2021). For more information about the initiative, please contact Jess Holliday ( and/or the PBRI’s Program Director, Jo Luck (