Is your field day a biosecurity risk?
July 2, 2013
Field days and on site trials provide valuable information to producers, however they can also be the perfect occasion to spread unwanted diseases, pests and weeds. Become biosecurity aware when visiting or running a field day. Remember, you are at the forefront of good biosecurity practice.
The key biosecurity risks of field days and trials are:
• introducing an unwanted pest or disease to the field site
• attendees taking a pest or disease back to their property
• pest or disease spreading throughout the district or even further.
Managing these risks can be simple, safeguarding all involved in hosting and attending field days.
Top 10 biosecurity tips for field days
- Incorporate a biosecurity message in publicity fliers. For example: ‘In the interest of farm biosecurity, please ensure all footwear and vehicles are free of soil’.
- Ensure all vehicles are parked in a designated area. This can assist in containing the spread of a new pest and make monitoring for new pests and weeds much easier.
- Consider using a bus for transport to field sites to reduce the risks associated with vehicle movement.
- Incorporate boot scrapers and a foot bath at site access points. These can be located either at the entry to the property, or prior to getting on a bus.
- Have hand washing facilities and sanitiser available for use.
- Register all attendees. This facilitates trace back or trace forward in the event of introduction of an unwanted pest or disease.
- Ensure the field site has biosecurity signage. Signs can remind attendees of the importance of biosecurity and requirements at the site.
- Remember that caterers, trade or industry representatives, and hired staff erecting marquees should also comply with field day hygiene guidelines.
- Monitor the car park and the sites visited for signs of any new pests and diseases for up to a year after the event. New pests can take a while to show up and your obligation to the site shouldn’t end with the field day.
- Remind attendees of the risks and encourage good farm biosecurity practice. This can include advice for attendance at future field days, as well as information on good farm biosecurity practice.
Copies of record sheets, sign templates, a fact sheet and other resources to help you host a field day are available in the Toolkit section.
This article is based on information provided by the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program. For assistance creating a biosecurity plan, identifying biosecurity risks or sourcing equipment or material to mitigate these risks, contact a Grains Biosecurity Officer.