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

Help for organic grain growers to deal with pest threats

May 31, 2013

Organic Grains ManualBiosecurity and the use of best practice is a high priority for the Australian grains industry. The Farm Biosecurity Manual for the Organic Grains Industry aims to help organic grain producers deal with pest threats while complying with the Australian Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Products.

According to Greg Fraser, Executive Director and CEO of PHA, the manual provides invaluable advice on how to protect against unwanted pests which forms a key part of an organic grains farming operation. 

“By considering the key pest risks and implementing some simple practices detailed in the manual, biosecurity at the farm level can be greatly enhanced while also protecting the organic status of individual farms and benefiting the entire Australian grains industry,” said Mr Fraser.

Understanding and becoming familiar with insects living on or near the property is important in an organic farming system. It helps organic producers to know which insect preys on other insects and with that knowledge, they can take steps to encourage insects that are beneficial onto their property.

Exotic pests, on the other hand, pose a serious risk to the entire grains industry and producers are urged to monitor their paddocks and immediately report anything unusual to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881. Quick action provides the best chance of eradicating any new pest in Australian crops.

Louise Rossiter, Grains Biosecurity Officer for NSW, said that it was vital that organic producers always source crop and pasture seed from a reputable supplier to reduce the risk of introducing new pests. “Infected, infested or contaminated seed can be a major source of pests and weeds,” she said. “Being cautious could save you a lot of time and trouble and help in maintaining your organic status.”

The manual is available from state Grains Biosecurity Officers or can be downloaded from the Grains industry page. An organic grains biosecurity best practice checklist, visitor registers, biosecurity signs and other resources are also available.