Blue-green algae issues
Blue-green algae (BGA) blooms continue to be present along the Murray River.
Although there have been some changes to the BGA levels in the Murray River, farmers should continue to monitor information alerts provided by water authorities in regards to BGA and water availability. In particular, farmers should ensure that water authorities have their current contact details.
Here are the department's key messages regarding blue-green algae:
- Irrigators and livestock managers should continue to monitor on-farm water sources to check for the presence of blue-green algae.
- Producers are advised to avoid contamination of produce and exposure of livestock to water affected by blue-green algae.
- The ingestion of blue-green algae contaminated water can cause deaths in livestock. Producers are advised to access alternative stock water supplies if they suspect blue-green algal contamination. Pastures that have been irrigated using affected water should not be grazed for at least seven days.
- If blue-green algae poisoning is suspected in livestock, or a number of livestock die suddenly, contact your local veterinarian or departmental animal health staff.
- Irrigation water contaminated with blue-green algae should not be spray irrigated on vegetables and fruit, or come in contact with plants being grown for food during processing and packing. This is particularly important for fruit and vegetables that are likely to be eaten raw such as apples, grapes, tomatoes, strawberries, cabbages, lettuce and other salad greens.
- Horticultural produce from the affected areas is safe to consume if farmers follow recommendations regarding blue-green algae.
- A range of support is available to help farmers deal with financial stress and hardship through existing agriculture extension programs and the Drought Support Package.
Managing blue-green algae in farm water supplies provides key information for livestock producers.
The department has information on:
- Irrigating with blue-green algae affected water
- Blue-green algal poisoning of stock
- Blue-green algae problems in dams
- Water quality testing contacts
- Algae and fishing
The department has also developed a list of questions and answers on blue-green algae.
There are also a range of tools and resources, including an online farm water calculator, in the Farm water solutions section.
A list of Emergency water supply points is also available from DELWP.
This link may also be useful:
Laboratory water testing search (National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia)
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries also has information: