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The challenge

A gap between agripest knowledge and access

Our researchers have documented some of the reasons why the adoption of alternative and diverse pest management practices is challenging. A strengthened process for the co-innovation of solutions throughout supply chains was one gap identified that may help bring about change. Through interviews with a diversity of stakeholders we have found that data sharing is one of the biggest impediments to developing partnerships across the supply chains.

A knowledge platform is needed to enable people across the supply chain and across landscapes and sectors to access and use information to support agripest management and strategic choices in an increasingly chemically constrained world. Important data, necessary for land managers and agricultural stakeholders to make informed decisions, is hard to access and often passed its used-by date.

Some data is available for issues like the development of resistance, but it is disconnected, held in different systems and institutions, and is challenging to interpret. Therefore, a complete picture of risks and opportunities is required to give decision makers access to best practice and to provide certainty.

[Visual on screen: Open on an image of a globe, looking bright and healthy] Spoken text: All around the world, the production of our food and fibre relies on agricultural and veterinary chemicals to control pests and diseases.

[A plant pops up on the Earth, with weeds and grass beneath it. A spray bottle flies in and sprays it] From spraying a crop to control unwanted weeds. To spraying a fungicide to prevent devastating plant diseases.

[A sad looking cow appears on the Earth, and is then injected and looks happy] Or using veterinary products for injuries and diseases in animals.

[Multiple bottles and vaccines fly in and spray/inject the earth, the planet fades / rots a little, dripping with pesticides. Spray bottles and vax get crossed out] However the over-reliance of these chemicals increases the risk to our environment and puts pressure on regulators to restrict or prohibit the use of some chemicals.

[A bug is centre frame, as it gets sprayed but isn't impacted] Over-reliance also causes chemicals to become ineffective as pests and diseases develop resistance, while new control options are slow to appear.

[Words "Agripest Challenge" appear on screen] We call this combination of problems, the Agripest Challenge.

[Frame changes to look through a microscope] Research into alternative pest control options has generated many potential solutions, including:

[A birdseye view of a farm, camera tracking upwards, showing the crops, livestock, etc… A plane flies through the frame, crop dusting.] …genetically resistant crops and livestock; biological control products; vaccines; and new farming practices that reduce pest numbers. But, despite all of this, there continues to be an over-reliance on chemicals throughout most of the agricultural supply chain.

[Frame changes to display a team of CSIRO scientists, thinking, icons for different elements of the AgriPest challenge] To find a solution, a team of CSIRO researchers have instigated a national conversation about how best to tackle the Agripest challenge.

[Pan up and out of these icons, a UI appears, representing this central hub] We identified the need for a central information hub that could inform risks around particular agripest control use cases.

[UI becomes centre frame as a farmer interacts with their phone, inputting information] The Pesticide Use Risk Scenario Platform, or PURSP, would enable the easy input, access and sharing of key information which could alert users to the risks and alternatives of a selected agripest control option.

[Zoom in on a farmer, next to a sprout. A bug appears on the sprout. We see him about to use the chemical bottle from the opening of the animation] For farmers, PURSP, would show customers that you’re controlling agripests responsibly, that food supplied from your farm will not be interrupted by the Agripest challenge, that you are relying less and less on chemical options, and the options chosen are better for the environment.

[Frame changes to show a crate of wine. This is then stamped with a sustainability icon.] PURSP could also help expand export markets by enabling farmers to brand products with reduced chemical inputs...

[Frame changes to show a map of NSW, we then zoom into a farming region on a computer screen] … by providing access to maps of resistance cases in your region and where samples can be sent for testing.

[Zoom out of map to show the farmer on the computer, we see fake UI of a pest profile with different sections of information.] It would also provide information on alternative pest control options and checks on residue limits for new overseas markets. PURSP would also provide a key link between farmers and agricultural workers, and scientists and the rest of the supply chain.

[Scene cuts to a woman at a computer] Take Fiona for example. She works for an international company that develops and markets crop protection products. PURSP would provide her with reliable data and information on agrichemical use trends, resistance figures and environmental toxicity loads across Australian agricultural landscapes as well as current news articles highlighting risks and market trends.

[A program she is working on changes to a company UI which shows the green, sustainable spray the farmer used. There is a “registration pending” button under it which pops to “registered”] This would enable the company to focus on priority products to bring to registration.

[Return to CSIRO team with the UI behind them. Fiona and the farmer walk in and join the team.] This central platform is essential for successfully solving the AgriPest challenge and supporting the responsible production of our food and fibre.

[CSIRO logo appears with URL text] Want to know more? Head to

Pesticide Use Risk Scenario Platform

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Our response

A management knowledge platform that brings together data and information to address the agripest challenge

The Pesticide Use Risk Scenario Platform (PURSP) is one concept developed through extensive interviews with a diversity of agriculture stakeholders. We have explored how a knowledge platform like PURSP could assist them to understand and address their agripest challenges.

A four-legged chair is a good conceptual representation of the PURSP knowledge platform and the four areas of data to be included:

A variety of pests are a threat to crops across Australia and the world.

  • Agripest control: What are the current products and practices? Will they remain available to use? (Pre-farm market)
  • Resistance: How many products are currently affected by resistance? How widespread is resistance? What suite of agripests are exhibiting resistance?
  • Market forces: Will post-farm markets impose restrictions on current practices and use of products? Are there looming regulatory restrictions? Are there niche markets with greater restrictions? (How economically attractive are these?)
  • New solutions: Are new solutions likely to replace older ones in time to prevent a loss of capacity to control/prevent/avoid agripests? What is the market uptake of available solutions? What is the TRL of new solutions in the research pipeline?

How would I use PURSP?

Through our stakeholder engagement, one common identified theme is that many people need to be able to integrate diverse and different data streams to make agribusiness decisions. Getting information from multiple sources takes time and confidence in certain data sets can be low. A second identified theme is that many people are willing to share information, and sometimes this an integral part of their job. However, platforms to share pesticide and pest management data safely and securely are rare.

Our vision for PURSP is the development of a tool that brings people together in a digital space where they can explore, evaluate and share information. In the initial phases we would like users of PURSP to be able to do their current job quicker and more efficiently. But in later development phases we would like users to be able to identify the knowledge gaps they see as critical to improving their decision-making and thereby direct research focus. We envision PURSP to be a place where both public and confidential data can be stored and accessed according to users' needs and permissions.

Pesticide Use Risk Scenario Platform

A concept for a single source of trusted, reliable and up-to-date information for agripest challenges.

Please contact us if you would like to be part of the development of this platform

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