Truffle orchard on-farm biosecurity and hygiene

Page last updated: Tuesday, 26 October 2021 - 7:22am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Vehicles, machinery and equipment

Best practice is to minimise the movement in and out of the truffle orchard. All non-essential vehicles should stay out of production areas. Around the property use designated road ways for vehicles and reduce the amount of traffic in production areas. Only drive in paddocks when necessary and particularly avoid driving in production areas in wet, muddy conditions. Driving vehicles in the truffle orchard not only provides a biosecurity risk but may also compact the soil which can affect truffle development. Restricted areas should be fenced and signed and, if necessary, gates locked. If you do have a high risk area, consider having specific equipment designated to that area.

Farm machinery including tractors, mowers, spreaders and sprayers should be washed down prior to entry into the truffle orchard if being used in other areas of lower biosecurity management. This is particularly important for vehicles and equipment that visit other properties, such as contractor’s vehicles.

Ideally, properties should have a designated wash-down bay for all vehicles, machinery and equipment. It should have high pressure water and/or air, brushes and scrapers for cleaning. Ideally a wash-down site is located between the property's main driveway and farm roads for easy access when entering and exiting the property. A sealed pad or compacted gravel area that directs run-off away from production areas and water storage resources is preferred. A waste water collection sump, with an appropriate over-flow run-off, is a good addition.

Vehicle on hard stand wash down bay
Example of a wash-down bay; part of main access, with hard stand base, drainage capture and high-pressure water station

Vehicles, machinery and equipment coming from another property should preferably be cleaned initially before they leave the previous property. The cleaning at your property should be a secondary clean to remove any transportation accumulation. This way you further reduce the chances of bringing undesirable organisms onto your property.

When washing down a vehicle, wash from the top down. Take particular note of the tyres and wheel arches, grills, undercarriage, ute trays and floors. Scrapers and brushes may be required to dislodge mud. Thorough pressure washing is usually sufficient, but if a high risk situation (suspect foreign fungi or soil borne diseases), a disinfectant, or steam cleaning should also be considered. It is good practice to regularly wash on site vehicles as well.