Track & Trace puts biosecurity app’s real-life data to the test

Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries, Plant Biosecurity Enhancement director, Dr Shane Hetherington; Southern NSW Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub director, Cindy Cassidy; and NSW Wine president, Mark Bourne at the NSW DPI Head Office in Orange.

Local vignerons, biosecurity specialists and industry representatives met yesterday in Orange to measure the edge technology can deliver via real-time data to increase planning efficiency and effectiveness in a biosecurity emergency response.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Director Plant Biosecurity Enhancement, Dr Shane Hetherington, said Exercise Sour Grapes 2023 simulated a plant biosecurity outbreak to test data from the Track & Trace pilot project.

“Track & Trace used the Onside check-in app to gather real-life data from local vineyards from spring 2022 until the 2023 vintage,” Dr Hetherington said.

“Exercise Sour Grapes 2023 is testing the technology’s surveillance and early detection algorithm in delivering rapid response to biosecurity outbreaks and informing resource allocation for the NSW wine sector.

“This exercise will compare results with Exercise Sour Grapes 2019, which ran the same emergency response simulation, without the advantage of real-time data from an app.”

Track & Trace is supported by NSW DPI, NSW Wine and Southern NSW Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (the Hub).

The project has worked with Canberra, Tumbarumba, Orange and Mudgee vignerons who collected real-time data in their vineyards.

NSW Wine president Mark Bourne said building and maintaining accurate movement data helps to protect the long-term resilience of the NSW wine industry.

“Prevention is always better than a cure. If and when a new threat emerges, we need to be able to trace back to determine where it came from and trace forward to lessen the impacts on industry and the communities in which we live and work,” Bourne said.

“This project is a real-life demonstration of how biosecurity can work as a shared responsibility. Industry, federal and state government agencies and a technology partner are all working together to pilot a biosecurity solution to help make us fit for future challenges.”

Hub Director Cindy Cassidy said developing a world-class biosecurity system is one of the four National Agricultural Innovation Agenda priorities supported by the Hub.

“Track & Trace is part of the Hub’s Managing Biosecurity Risks investment project, which is testing strategies to better engage the community and supply chain in biosecurity preparedness,” Cassidy said.

“This project gives us the opportunity to apply existing technologies and test systems designed to help better prepare a region to respond to biosecurity threats

“Track & Trace is just the beginning. We are keen to engage the community and the supply chain to support our biosecurity efforts and if this technology does prove to be effective, it could revolutionise biosecurity in NSW and across horticulture Australia wide.”

The project is supported by funding from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as part of the Federal Government’s Agricultural Innovation Hubs Program.


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