The Farm Biosecurity Program’s latest video provides an overview of some farm biosecurity measures you can implement as part of your daily routine to minimise the risks associated with feral or wild animals and invasive weed species.
Feral and wild animals can impact on production by damaging fences, attacking livestock and destroying plants. But they are also a biosecurity risk because they can carry disease, pests and weeds onto and around your property.
Duncan Rowland, Animal Health Australia’s Manager Biosecurity Services, suggests working with neighbours and other producers to develop a wild and feral animal control program.
“It’s unlikely that the problem starts or stops at your fence’” said Duncan.
Protect feed and water sources that could attract wild or feral animals, and regularly inspect and mend broken fences. Ensure farm buildings and storage facilities such as silos and feed bins are in good repair to prevent them from finding areas to breed in.
“Make sure that you don’t invite feral or wild animals onto your property or make life too cosy for them,” said Duncan.
“Dispose of any carcasses properly and promptly so they don’t attract wild or feral animals,” he added.
Second generation apple producer from Batlow, Greg Mouat, was interviewed in the video about the use of netting by growers in the district to protect their orchards from raids by wild animals.
The Batlow Fruit Cooperative worked with the NSW government to assist locals to put up netting, helping to protect one of Australia’s most recognised apple brands, and its wildlife.
“We’ve been using protective netting now for a number of years. We will be increasing the amount of netting we put up to protect our crops from cockatoos, bats and from hail,” said Greg.
“Since erecting the nets we’ve found that we are far more profitable than we were in the past. Again, we are getting higher packouts from our product.”
Alison Saunders, Plant Health Australia’s National Manager for Horticulture, said that many producers spend a lot of time and money controlling weeds on their properties.
“It’s important to not just control weeds in a paddock, but also areas surrounding crops, along fence lines and so on. This is because weeds and volunteer plants next to a crop can act as a haven for pests and diseases between seasons and a source of infection for the next seasons’ crop,” said Alison.
“Check areas along tracks and roads, in and around animal quarantine areas, vehicle wash-down facilities and visitor parking areas for signs of weeds. Treat them before they have a chance to grow and produce seed,” said Alison.
For more information, visit the Farm Biosecurity website at farmbiosecurity.com.au/videos