You have an important role to play in protecting your farm and the entire grains industry from biosecurity threats.
The Biosecurity Manual for Grain Producers outlines the recommended on farm biosecurity practices that aim to reduce the risk of pests. Other resources for grain producers are listed below. The grain industry section also includes information about specific pests and management practices.
By implementing the recommended measures in your day-to-day operations, you will improve your farm’s biosecurity and that of your region, while minimising crop losses and unnecessary costs.
The Farm Biosecurity Manual for the Organic Grains Industry includes biosecurity information specifically for the growers of organic grains.
Here are six simple, routine farm practices you can do to reduce the threat of new pests entering and establishing on your property. Each practice should be embedded in your farm’s everyday management as they make good business sense by reducing the risk of spreading any pest.
1. Be aware of biosecurity threats
Make sure you, your farm workers and contractors are familiar with the most important grains pest threats. Conduct a biosecurity induction session on your farm to explain hygiene practices for people, equipment and vehicles. More
2. Ensure seed is pest free, and preferably certified
Ensure all seed and other farm inputs are fully tested, pest-free and preferably certified. Keep records of your farm inputs. More
3. Keep it clean
Practicing good sanitation and hygiene will help prevent the entry and movement of pests onto your property. Workers, visitors, vehicles and equipment can spread pests, so make sure they are decontaminated before they enter and leave your farm. Have a designated visitor’s area and provide vehicle and personnel disinfecting facilities. More
4. Check your crop
Monitor your crop frequently. Knowing the usual appearance of your crop will help you recognise new or unusual events and pests. Keep written and photographic records of all unusual observations. Constant vigilance is vital for early detection of any exotic plant pest threat. More
5. Abide by the law
Support and be aware of laws and regulations established to protect the grains industry, Australian agriculture, and your region.
6. Report anything unusual
If you suspect a new pest – report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.
To ensure your property has the best protection against the introduction and spread of new pests, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your biosecurity activities through some self-assessment questions in the Biosecurity best practice checklist. (Organic grains farmers should complete the Organic grains biosecurity best practice checklist.)
Once identified, a few simple, non-costly and practical procedures can be implemented to strengthen areas of greatest risk.
While changing everyday practices can take more effort in the short term, these will become second nature with time and are easier and cheaper than dealing with the introduction of a new pest.
The Pest Information Document Database on the Plant Health Australia website contains the pest-specific documents developed as part of industry biosecurity plans (IBPs). These documents provide background and emergency response information on a number of the high priority pests of Australia’s plant industries.