Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

Don’t let diseases, pests and weeds spring to life on your property

September 4, 2015
Producers should be alert to weeds like Paterson's Curse (Echium plantagineum) which will start to emerge in the coming weeks.

Producers should be alert to weeds like Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum) which will start to emerge in the coming weeks.

Spring has arrived and with it comes warmer and longer days which means the traditional pests, diseases and weeds, which have been hibernating over the cooler months, are now ready to spring into action.

Animal Health Australia’s Executive Manager Biosecurity, Duncan Rowland, said producers should be looking at ways to integrate biosecurity into their spring ‘to-do list’.

“These next few months, particularly for the southern regions of our country, can bring in a raft of difficulties for producers if the temperature warms up quickly and is accompanied with decent rainfall,” said Mr Rowland.

“A number of weed species will begin flowering about now, so it is important that producers go out with weed spray in hand, any time they’re visiting their livestock or out and about on the property.

“Sheep producers should be conscious of footrot in their area. If there have been cases of virulent footrot in your local region, check to ensure fences are in good order to keep strays away and insist on a National Sheep Health Statement, that declares the animals are free of virulent footrot, when buying in new stock.

“Cattle producers should also be alert for footrot during this season as the benign version of the disease can and does affect cattle production,” Mr Rowland said.

Mr Rowland also highlighted the growing risk of insects and parasites during the warmer months.

“The warmer and longer days mean flies will be back soon and internal and external parasites like worms will start ramping up their insidious work, so producers should ensure they have all the correct vaccinations in place and a plan to avoid conditions like fly strike.

“The best way to keep on top of any production condition this spring is to ensure you have a robust biosecurity plan that is woven into your daily work schedule and ensure that anyone that has come to help out with the workload during this busy period is across your biosecurity action list,” Mr Rowland said.

Producers are encouraged to download a copy of the Farm Biosecurity Action Planner which will help to create a structured and successful biosecurity strategy that can be integrated into your spring workload.