March 4, 2013
Grain growers are being advised that preparing a biosecurity plan for their farm will reduce their exposure to threats posed by pests and disease. Successful biosecurity plans address risks, communicate pest and disease preparedness to staff and establish an ongoing review process. To support growers’ efforts, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) contributed to and is promoting the Grains Industry Farm Biosecurity Manual released by Plant Health Australia and Grain Producers Australia. DPI’s Grains Industry Biosecurity Officer, Jim Moran, was a member of the team that put the manual together and explains that preparation is the key. “While many people relate to biosecurity as something that happens at harbours or on our state borders, this is about the next layer of defence: looking at what you can do at your own farm to keep it free from exotic pests and disease,” said Mr Moran. “We recognise it can be challenging, if not a little overwhelming, for producers to know where to start their planning, that’s why we’ve worked closely with industry to produce the manual. “Reviewing current hygiene practices and making a biosecurity plan for your property is a vital first step in protecting your farm against unwanted and debilitating incursions. “The expectation is not that improvements happen overnight, instead it’s about getting the ball rolling, self-assessment — there’s a user-friendly guide to doing this in the manual— and clearly communicating your approach to staff, family and visitors to ensure you have your business in the best possible place should something happen. “Growers have invested too much time, money and effort into their enterprises and into their industry to not effectively address biosecurity risks,” Mr Moran said.