Soil and plant material carried on vehicles, farm machinery, clothing and footwear can carry weeds, pests and diseases that easily transfer between properties.
There are about 300 exotic grain pests of concern knocking on our doorstep. Add any of these to the countless endemic pests and that creates a farm management migraine.
Any new pest or disease incursion becomes very costly to manage.
But if farmers, agricultural contractors, consultants, researchers and advisers use biosecurity practices we can reduce the spread of pests and diseases.
The grains industry needs biosecurity awareness and decisive action where it counts - at the farm gate.
Harvest is a key time to be extra careful about movement of vehicles.
Demand excellent hygiene
By demanding excellent hygiene on their farms, land managers will be more successful in preventing the avoidable spread of pests and diseases.
When moving between different parts of your farm ask yourself and every visitor: 'What's hitching a lift with you?'
Simple biosecurity measures
There are also cheap and simple biosecurity activities that reduce the risks of pests and diseases 'hitching a lift' and entering your property.
- washing down all vehicles, boots and machinery thoroughly before entering and leaving a farm;
- inspecting and controlling the movement of anybody and anything that wants access to your property; and
- looking out for any unusual pests or symptoms.
Information about these biosecurity tactics to protect your farm, and more, can be found in free fact sheets and the Farm Biosecurity Manual for the Grains Industry, which are available at www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/gfbp
Jim Moran, firstname.lastname@example.org, 03 5430 4479