Farm businesses are reminded that with the new year underway, now is an ideal time to review biosecurity activities.
WA grains biosecurity officer Jeff Russell, of the Department of Agriculture and Food, said farm biosecurity was best likened to insurance.
“It’s about the protection of livelihoods, lifestyles and the natural environment which could be harmed by the introduction of new pests,” Mr Russell said.
“Now is the time for farm and related businesses to review their activities, as biosecurity is most effective when it occurs throughout the entire supply chain.”
Farm biosecurity is a set of management practices and activities carried out on the farm to protect the property from the entry and spread of pests.
“On-farm biosecurity is just as much about protecting the farming enterprise from existing or endemic pests, as it is about keeping out exotic pests,” Mr Russell said.
“Each year endemic pests (weeds, insects or diseases) cost WA farmers millions of dollars through lost production, reduced grain quality and control costs.
“The same practices that are put in place for identifying and eliminating a pest that you don’t have on your property can also be applied to help manage, control or eradicate pests that you do have on your property.”
Mr Russell said good farm hygiene was just one of a number of practices of a farm biosecurity program.
“Applying a ‘Come clean, Go clean’ philosophy to the movement of machinery, livestock and products and people on your property is one of the most important steps people can take to protect their farm,” he said.
“Placing a sign at the entry of your property requesting that visitors phone before entering is a way you can inform them of your biosecurity practices and record their visit. Likewise, having a clearly marked visitors parking area for them also helps.”
Providing a clean down area on the property to ensure all vehicles and machinery are clean before entering production areas is another practice to put into place.
“This is particularly important if machinery is coming in from outside the district. It is also useful for cleaning departing vehicles and machinery which may be going to neighbouring properties,” Mr Russell said.
For more information on practical activities you can undertake to protect your farm, visit the Farm Biosecurity website.
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937