Diseases, pests and weeds can enter a farm and be spread by equipment and vehicles, either directly or in plant material, soil or manure. It is important to maintain equipment hygiene and ensure all vehicles that visit your property are clean and well maintained.
• Limit the number of entry and exit points (one is preferable).
• Examine each vehicle entry and exit point for the risk they pose, particularly in relation to the distance from livestock and crops.
• Display biosecurity signs, with clear instructions and contact details, at all vehicle access points.
• Clearly sign and lock restricted access areas.
• Keep a visitor register.
To help producers manage vehicle and equipment biosecurity on farms, the NSW Department of Primary Industries has prepared a handbook in the AgGuide series, Machinery hygiene: Inspecting and cleaning machinery to prevent the spread of weeds, pests and diseases.
There are sections that define weeds, pathogens and insects, how they can enter and spread on a property. Useful case studies for pests such as serrated tussock and grapevine phylloxera are included to highlight the role of biosecurity practices as control measures.
Other sections include how to inspect and clean vehicles and machinery, how to dispose of soil and plant material, and how to report unusual weeds, pests and diseases. There’s also a sample checklist for cleaning and inspection to make sure nothing is overlooked.