iMapPESTS is a national program of research, development and extension designed to put actionable information into the hands of Australia’s primary producers to enhance on-farm pest management decision-making.
Over a five-year period (2017-2023), iMapPESTS will lay the foundations for a national cross-industry surveillance system that can rapidly monitor and report the presence of airborne pests and diseases affecting major agricultural sectors across the country, including grains, cotton, sugar, horticulture, wine, forestry and emerging industries. This will be achieved through a range of surveillance, diagnostics, and engagement and adoption activities.
Once established, the system could enhance pest management decision-making by providing timely information on high-priority, cross-sectoral pest and disease abundance and spread. Such information could be used by industry stakeholders to guide the direction or intensity of scouting efforts and pest control actions. The system could also facilitate a co-ordinated response to biosecurity efforts during exotic pest and disease incursions, including use in delimiting surveys and proof-of-freedom claims.
The iMapPESTS system comprises four main steps. The sentinels collect samples of airborne fungal spores and insects, which are transferred to laboratories for analyses. There, teams of entomologists, pathologists and molecular diagnosticians focus on identifying high-priority, target species. Data from the analyses are uploaded to a cloud-based database and overlaid with location-specific climatic information also captured by the sentinels. The final step sees the resulting data set summarised and communicated here, on the iMapPESTS website.
Mobile Surveillance Units ‘Sentinels’
Custom-built surveillance units, ‘Sentinels’, with specialised trapping technology, deployed at various locations across Australia to monitor the presence of high-priority pests and diseases.
Pest & Disease Diagnostics
Samples captured by the Sentinels are analysed using morphological identification & advanced molecular diagnostic tools to rapidly detect & quantify high-priority pests & diseases
Data Collection & Management
Pest & disease data is fed into a secure cloud space where it is integrated with environmental data (temperature, humidity, wind speed & direction)
Communication & Extension
Pest & disease surveillance findings are summarised on the iMapPESTS website for growers, agronomists & consultants to explore & access timely, accurate information to make decisions on-farm
Enhanced Pest Management,
Biosecurity & Area Freedom