Exotic pests and diseases are not found in Australia. They pose a significant threat to Victoria's cropping and horticulture sectors if the gain entry. Preventing pests and diseases from gaining a foothold, and quickly identifying and eradicating localised outbreaks, are critical to protecting these $3.2 billion per annum industries.
While the risk of significant exotic plant pest incursions continues to climb, with increased international travel and movement of plant materials and farm products, a reassuring blanket of biosecurity covers the Victorian grains industry.
CropSafe is an active, self-help 'eyes in the field' surveillance system looking out for new pests and diseases over the Victorian grains belt.
Agriculture Victoria delivers the CropSafe program in collaboration with a number of major agribusiness companies (Dodgshun Medlin, AGRIvision Consultants, Agritech Rural, Western AG, Elders, Landmark, IK Caldwell and the CRT group), and a network of 15 private consultants.
Together, this cluster incorporates approximately 80 per cent of Victoria's agronomists.
The CropSafe network has a network of over 150 experienced agronomists continually looking for new pests and diseases. This means Victorian farmers can be far more confident that their grain crops are free of exotic pests.
The CropSafe program has streamlined sample receipt, analysis, reporting and record-keeping. Individual agronomists are emailed results and the whole network receives a monthly update on disease occurrence and trends.
The success of CropSafe was acknowledged in the National Farm Biosecurity Awards of 2009, where it was one of four finalists.
If you see anything unusual, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 immediately.
It is important to not accidentally introduce exotic pests or diseases into Australia after travelling overseas. The risk of introducing exotic diseases or new mutations of a pathogen into Australia can be minimised by having a biosecurity hygiene plan following overseas travel.
Basic biosecurity hygiene includes washing clothes and cleaning footwear before returning to Australia. If high risk areas have been visited, consider leaving clothing and footwear behind. Remind family members, employees or others travelling to also take these precautions.
Agronomist tool kits
- CropSafe submission form
- CropSafe submission form
- Submitting a sample to CropSafe
- Submitting a Sample to CropSafe
- GRDC Fact Sheets - Exotic Pests and Diseases
- Australian Plant Health Farm Biosecurity Manual for the Grains Industry
For sampling material and instructions (incl. plastic specimen bags and plastic vials) or information on joining CropSafe contact Frank Henry on (03) 5362 2111.
- Information Notes - Grains, Pulses and Cereals
- Plant Health Australia - Grain Resources
- Plant Health Australia - Fact Sheets
- Plant Health Australia - Is your farm at risk? - Overseas Trips
This guide was prepared by Frank Henry.
Last updated June 26 2014