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A third consecutive year of La Niña has caused prolonged and widespread flooding, which has devastated grain and hay production in many parts of Australia.
Livestock producers, intensive and broad acre growers, will inevitably be competing for limited local resources to feed their animals and looking further afield, even interstate, for suppliers to meet the growing demand.
Biosecurity threats such as weeds, pests and diseases are associated with the movement of fodder and pose a serious risk to both plant and animal industries as well as the environment.
To mitigate potential risks, each State has legislative requirements aimed at preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of these threats, through powers provided under various biosecurity acts.
These state biosecurity laws must be adhered to when importing grain and fodder from interstate. They exist to prevent the spread of weeds, pests and diseases beyond the known infestation. Biosecurity acts impose restrictions on the entry or importation of material that is a host of a specified pest or disease.
There are penalties for non-compliance, so it is crucial to check all the biosecurity requirements for your state that apply to the importation of grain, fodder and other livestock feed products.
In some cases, the consignment will need to be accompanied by a Plant Health Certificate (PHC) issued by Biosecurity Officers in the state of origin. This provides assurance that the prescribed conditions for entry, including sampling, testing, inspection and other analysis has occurred and the consignment is free from risk posing pests and diseases.
It is important to note that the entry or importation of certain materials may involve additional quarantine conditions to be met and may have different restrictions depending on the state of origin.
Tips when importing feed from interstate:
The Grains Farm Biosecurity Program (GFBP) aims to support management practices designed to prevent, minimise, and control the introduction, spread and distribution of pests such as weeds, insects, nematodes, molluscs, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Early detection through continuous monitoring and surveillance is critical.
The GFBP is funded by grain grower levies through Grain Producers Australia (GPA), administered by Plant Health Australia.
For more information about grains farm biosecurity in your region, contact your state’s grains biosecurity officer.