THOSE on the header are being reminded to ensure they are familar with the SA Grain Harvesting Code of Practice, with the 2019-20 harvest underway in many areas of the state.
Grain Producers SA chair Wade Dabinett said hot and windy conditions had already been a feature of this year's harvest, which highlighted the need for growers to be aware of their obligations under the code.
"Since its introduction over a decade ago, the code has worked well in SA to reduce the incidence and severity of harvest fires, while enabling harvest operations, even on days of total fire ban," he said.
"This is because it allows for different weather conditions that occur at a local level as opposed to council or fire district.
"Growers' ability to be able to monitor conditions and make decisions to harvest at a paddock level is so important for our industry."
Mr Dabinett said it was important for growers not to take this for granted and to use the code to reduce the risks to their property, their neighbours and the community.
GPSA and the Country Fire Service launched the successful Know Your Code campaign in 2016, encouraging growers to abide by the code and outlines the conditions under which grain harvesting and handling should occur in the paddock.
This includes the operation of grain harvesters, vehicles involved in grain transport, and grain dryers and augers.
As well as providing a checklist for growers, the Know Your Code campaign encourages growers to take five simple steps to help reduce the risk of harvester fires - preparation, maintenance, monitoring, safe operations and communication.
A Parliamentary Select Committee report handed down earlier this year recognised the success of industry self-regulation when it comes to harvester fires and proposed a range of recommendations, which will help raise community awareness and prevent the spread of fire.
The report followed concerns raised last year by GPSA that proposed legislative changes to regulate harvest activities would give individuals in the CFS greater powers to direct growers to stop harvesting.
RELATED READING:Greater CFS powers proposed during harvest
"GPSA has recently met with Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Corey Wingard and received assurances that no changes to the current laws governing CFS powers will take effect during the current harvest," Mr Dabinett said.
"Consistent with the Select Committee recommendations, GPSA understands that CFS volunteers will not be awarded powers to direct the cessation of harvesting activities.
"The government is seeking to implement these changes in advance of the 2020-21 harvest and GPSA will keep members updated as the Bill progresses through Parliament."
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.