August 21, 2012
Samples of the exotic Russian wheat aphid preserved in alcohol will give farmers a first-hand opportunity to inspect and identify the exotic pest at this year’s AgQuip in Gunnedah from August 21-23. Department of Primary Industries (DPI) entomologist, Adrian Nicholas, said pictures showing wheat, barley and other cereal crops which have been affected by the aphid will alert farmers to the damage it can cause. “Thankfully we don’t have the Russian wheat aphid here in NSW, but farmers need to be aware of the signs,” Dr Nicholas said. “Farmers need to be vigilant of Russian wheat aphid and other exotic pests – knowing the signs to look out for is the key to reducing the risk of introducing and spreading unwanted pests.” Dr Nicholas is just one of the department’s specialist staff who will be on hand to discuss biosecurity issues. DPI grains industry biosecurity officer, Louise Rossiter, will deliver information about on-farm biosecurity measures, with best practice checklists available to farmers. Livestock producers will have access to information from DPI staff about the recently expanded Property Identification Codes (PICs) program, a joint initiative between DPI and the Livestock Health and Pest Authorities. From September 1 this year anyone who keeps livestock including sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, deer, bison, buffalo, camels, horses, donkeys, IIama, alpaca, 10 or more emus or ostriches and 100 or more poultry birds will be required to obtain a PIC for the property where the livestock are held, regardless of whether they are trading or moving animals. The aim is to strengthen biosecurity and improve NSW’s capacity to respond to animal disease and food safety incidents. The DPI pavilion at AgQuip, located at E-F / 16-17, will have information and resources relating to biosecurity, livestock, irrigation, rural support services, recreational fishing, aquatic habitat rehabilitation, grains, weeds, Tocal College and PROfarm short courses.