Farm Biosecurity news
August 2020
Avian influenza impacts Victoria

An outbreak of an emergency animal disease (EAD) is a serious, though thankfully uncommon, occurrence, thanks to Australia’s geographic isolation and strong biosecurity measures at the border. However, there is no such thing as zero risk, particularly when it comes to diseases which can be harboured and transmitted by wildlife.

Recent detections of avian influenza (AI) in Victoria have prompted Animal Health Australia (AHA) to issue a reminder to bird owners to take biosecurity seriously, even if they only have backyard hens.

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Don’t risk crop failure – plan your surveillance activities

As this year’s winter crop reaches a critical growth stage, it’s time to do rigorous and regular surveillance to protect your growing crops from new weeds, pests and diseases.

Grains biosecurity officer, Jim Moran, said that surveillance throughout the life of a crop will provide the best possible chance of identifying new weeds, pests and diseases early – just after symptoms appear – and will significantly increase the possibility of being able to eradicate the pest, and minimise crop damage and loss of income.

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‘Social distancing’ is never a baaaad idea

The concept of social distancing will likely go down in history as one of the main things by which we remember 2020. Over the course of the year, keeping an appropriate distance between yourself and others has been touted as a key step in limiting the transmission of diseases between individuals.

There are some significant parallels between human, animal and plant disease outbreaks, in terms of how they are managed. This is because the same basic principles are at play, regardless of what species the disease affects.

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Cleaning and disinfecting greenhouses between crops

One of the benefits of growing under cover is that it’s possible to readily exclude and control pests and diseases. An important pest control point in the cropping cycle is the changeover period between one crop and the next.

Once a crop grown in a greenhouse is finished, it is important to completely clean out the greenhouse in preparation for the next crop. This is the best way to avoid diseases being transferred from one crop to another.

A video on cleaning and disinfecting greenhouses – one of the Protected Cropping Toolkit – gives step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

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Farm Biosecurity Nuffield Scholarship

There's still time to apply for a 2021 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship.

We urge young farmers (between 28 and 45 years old) with a desire to drive their knowledge and businesses forward to consider applying and prepare an application now.

You have until 11 September 2020 to apply.

More information

Russian wheat aphid detected in WA for the first time


Russian wheat aphid was detected in two wheat crops north of Esperance this week, the first time it has been found in WA after first being discovered in South Australia in 2016, and subsequently in Victoria, parts of NSW and Tasmania.

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AUSVEG offering support to develop farm biosecurity plans


It is important that industries are best prepared for the arrival of new pests and diseases. It is a good idea to have a plan for your farm to protect it from the arrival of new biosecurity threats that could impact the probability of your business.

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Resources put growers on front foot against fall armyworm

National Tribune

Grain growers have access to a range of information and resources to help them identify and – if required – manage the incursion of fall armyworm (FAW).

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PestFacts SA Crop Invertebrate ID Workshop

PestFacts SA

You’re invited to attend a free insect ID workshop hosted by SARDI Entomology and the Hart Field Site Group.

When: Tuesday, 8 September 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Hart Field Site Shed (871, Hart Road, Hart SA)

Email to register

Good biosecurity is everyone's business

Stock Journal

Safeguarding the industry against pest and disease incursion has previously been seen as the responsibility of government, but ensuring good animal health and biosecurity is everyone's business.

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Mystery seeds arrive at Australian addresses from Asia, prompting fears of biosecurity risk

ABC News

Dozens of packets of mystery seeds from Asia have arrived at Australian addresses, prompting fears of a biosecurity breach that could wreak havoc on the environment and farm industries.

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Guide to the correct use of pain relief in the grass-fed beef cattle sector

Cattle Council of Australia

This document has been prepared by Cattle Council of Australia as a reference for grass-fed beef cattle producers to guide the responsible use of pain-relief compounds. The information contained in this document does not constitute advice and in no way replaces advice from a veterinary practitioner.

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Fire ant training is now available online

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland

If you live or work in a fire ant biosecurity zone or manage materials that may carry the super pest, you now have the option to complete your fire ant training online. The training is run fortnightly and covers identifying and reporting fire ants, biosecurity zones and movement controls. Advanced training for pest managers and contractors to treat fire ant nests is also available.

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