Members of the WA Grains Group (WAGG) have come on board with a plan to strengthen farm biosecurity by using more signage on their properties.
WAGG is distributing biosecurity signs provided and funded by Grains Producers Australia and Plant Health Australia as part of a grain on-farm biosecurity project.
Department Grain Guard executive officer Jeff Russell said the interest shown by WAGG members was an important step towards boosting awareness of farm biosecurity in Western Australia.
“People management on farms was a key biosecurity issue for growers,” Mr Russell said.
“WAGG members I spoke with had become frustrated with people driving onto their properties oblivious of the need to observe good farm biosecurity and not cleaning down their vehicles and often using different gates to go out than the one that they came in through,” he said.
“Farm workers, contractors and other visitors to farms can spread weed seeds and soil material from property to property via their vehicles and even their footwear.
“Landowners may have sensitive sites they don’t want strangers unwittingly encroaching upon and either damaging the area or spreading a problem.”
Mr Russell said informative biosecurity signage was a way to improve communications between visitors and land owners.
“It is not a complete solution to the problem, but placing signage at key entry points to a property help with control related to visitors,” he said.
“Most people will do the right thing when they are aware of what they need to do to help a landowner maintain farm biosecurity, and if there are contact details on a sign, they will usually try to get in touch with the landowner.”
Mr Russell said 11 WAGG members took up the offer of signs and undertook to deliver signs to other WAGG members.
“I am keen to hear from other grower groups in Western Australia which are interested in building better biosecurity practices through signage and the development of biosecurity plans,” he said.
Mr Russell can be contactedon 08 9690 2229 or email email@example.com
More information on farm biosecurity can be found at farmbiosecurity.com.au
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937