Are you feeding more than your livestock this summer?
29 January 2018
Increased movement of hay and grain feed onto properties and across paddocks in summer increases the potential of spreading pests and diseases.
Insects and their eggs, snails, fungal spores, bacteria, viruses, weed seeds and numerous other pathogens and vectors can arrive on, and in, fodder, grain, dirt and other plant and animal material found on clothing, footwear and tools. Additionally, they can be introduced onto a property on the underside and inside the vehicles and machinery used to load, unload, transport and store hay and grain feed.
Agriculture Victoria Grains Biosecurity Officer, Jim Moran, said the introduction and spread of pests and diseases could be minimised by:
- inspecting all machinery arriving at the property and to ensure it is free of any foreign plant material, animal matter or soil
- asking where they have come from and where they've been to enable an assessment to be made of any specific biosecurity risks
- thoroughly cleaning vehicles, trailers and machinery in a designated, hard surface area with a blower vac and high pressure water or steam until is free of all debris and potential contaminants.
"Take extra care to clean underneath the vehicle, the tyres, the rims, the radiator mesh, inside the cabin and under the floor mats, for example," Mr Moran said.
"Where possible, stick to farm tracks and don't drive over paddocks. Check that anyone entering the property observes all biosecurity hygiene protocols and supply a footbath containing one of the recommended boot wash detergents or sterilisers," he said.
"Dispense feed hay and grain in a designated quarantine paddock and confine the animals to that area for a few days so that any weed seeds are kept in a confined space.
"This allows for easy monitoring of germinating weeds and any pests can be detected early and easily contained and controlled when restricted to a small area.
"Only store feed grain in storages designated for this purpose rather than in storages that may be used for high end grain as low grade grain may contaminate the storage with insects, weed seeds or diseases, leading to quality issues if not fumigated."
For more information about farm biosecurity or to request a free Farm Biosecurity Manual or Farm Gate Sign, contact Mr Moran on (03) 5430 4479.
If you see anything unusual, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.
Categorised under: Biosecurity,Agriculture