Grain growers are being urged to protect themselves and their operations by ensuring visitors reduce the risk of introducing new pests and diseases onto their properties.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development grains biosecurity officer Jeff Russell said an ideal first step in on-farm biosecurity was having a sign at the property entrance asking visitors to notify of their presence before entering.
“This shows visitors that growers take biosecurity on the farm seriously,” Mr Russell said.
“Having visitors call ahead means they can be given detailed instructions on where they can and can’t go on the property.
“Other signage can direct visitors to areas such as designated parking bays and clean down facilities.”
Mr Russell said vehicles, machinery, people, soil, water and planting material could all carry potentially damaging pests and diseases.
He said that limiting access to the productive areas of a property could reduce the risk of pests and diseases entering and becoming established.
“With winter now upon us and greater travel taking place between farms there is an increased chance of hitchhiker pests coming along for the ride,” Mr Russell said.
“Developing a biosecurity plan and having biosecurity practices may take long-term planning and investment but lowering the chances of pests and diseases entering a property can save time and money spent controlling pests and help to protect livelihoods.”
He said farmers should also evaluate the biosecurity risks of visiting vehicles or machinery, which could be done by asking the owners where and when their last job was and when the equipment was last cleaned.
For more information about on-farm biosecurity in the grains industry visit farmbiosecurity.com.au/ or planthealthaustralia.com.au/national-programs/grains-farm-biosecurity-program/