Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Biosecurity
7 BIOSECURITY GROUND COVER ON-FARM BIOSECURITY Raising awareness is an important first step towards increasing the adoption of improved on-farm biosecurity practice By Jo Slattery MAINTAINING FREEDOM FROM exotic pests and disease takes vigilance. Looking out for anything unusual in crops and around your property is just as important as the border screening carried out by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Australia's geographic isolation has meant that many high-risk pests that could affect the grains industry have not arrived from overseas. However, biosecurity management does not stop at Australia's ports and airports; it needs to be considered across the whole value-chain, including daily on-farm activities. On-farm biosecurity is a set of management practices carried out to protect properties from the entry and spread of pests, which can include weed seeds. If a new pest becomes established on-farm it could affect your business, requiring changes in rotations, additional chemical controls and revised management practices to minimise loss of grain yield and quality while maintaining market access. To help Australian grain growers ensure biosecurity is appropriately practised on their farms, state-based Grains Biosecurity Officers (GBOs) have been employed and managed by Plant Health Australia (PHA) as part of the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program. The GBOs are funded by the national peak body representing the grains industry, Grain Producers Australia (GPA), and also by each of the state agencies in the five major grain- producing states where they are based (Table 1). They raise awareness surrounding the management and preparedness of biosecurity risks for the grains industry at the farm gate and industry level. There are six easy steps to help protect your farm (see Table 2), which are explored in detail in the Farm Biosecurity Manual for the Grains Industry. The manual was released in February 2010 and copies, together with other useful resources, can be sourced online at the Plant Health Australia website (www.planthealthaustralia.com.au). For biosecurity management to be successfully implemented, all members of the farming business and those visiting the farm, be they contractors, agronomists or friends, need to practice good hygiene. Avoiding the movement of vehicles other than your own on paddocks and ensuring vehicles On the lookout for the unusual and machinery that have been off-farm are washed down before entering your property is a procedure that can significantly reduce the risk of introducing new weeds, insects and diseases. PHA has produced biosecurity signage that can be displayed on gates and fences to alert visitors of the need to respect biosecurity best practice and to report their arrival by phone or radio. Protocols should also be in place for the isolation of newly purchased stock and feed, to minimise the possibility of introducing pests in purchased fodder and seed. Use of the vendor declaration is an important tool for helping to identify and record potential biosecurity problems. Table 1 Grains biosecurity officers by state State Grains Biosecurity Officer Phone Email NSW Louise Rossiter 0429 726 285 firstname.lastname@example.org Queensland Kym McIntyre 0429 727 690 email@example.com South Australia Judy Bellati 0412 218 228 firstname.lastname@example.org Victoria Jim Moran 0418 377 930 email@example.com Western Australia Jeff Russell 0447 851 801 firstname.lastname@example.org FOR SUCCESSFUL BIOSECURITY MANAGEMENT, ALL MEMBERS OF THE BUSINESS NEED TO BE INVOLVED. Cameron Turnbull (left), Wedderburn, referring to the Farm Biosecurity Manual for the Grains Industry with Jim Moran, Victorian Grains Biosecurity Officer.
GC Supplement - Capacity building
GC Supplement - Grain storage