SOUTH Australia's $3.82-billion grains industry contributed 16.7 per cent of the state's exports in 2019-20, so protecting this sector from biosecurity threats is vital.
To increase and maintain our international agricultural trade, we need to stop invasive plant and animal pathogens, insects and weeds entering the state via people, cargo, postal goods, and unclean/infested imports.
International pre-border measures are the first line of defence, while on-arrival interventions ensure that import requirements have been met and are free of pests or diseases - our second line of defence.
Within Australia, plant quarantine restrictions at state borders play an important role, while in SA, biosecurity standards and quarantine requirements are in place to manage the risks to our grain industries, particularly from pests and diseases that may already be present or endemic in other states such as, Clubroot fungus, Wheat Rust Ug99 and Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus.
This is achieved through the regulation of the movement of plant products and materials, soil, and harvest machinery into SA by the following mechanisms:
To support the national and state systems in place, biosecurity on your property cannot be ignored.
One way to ensure compliance is through a Farm Biosecurity Program. This usually involves a set of procedures designed to protect farms from the entry and spread of invasive weeds, insects and diseases from neighbouring farms, interstate, and international hitchhikers.
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Actions would include regularly monitoring crops and silos for pests; purchasing seed from a reputable source and record where it originates from; adhering to quarantine requirements/isolation of hay and other plant material; participating in plant pest surveillance and trapping systems, maintaining high hygiene standards to ensure greater market access; and collaborating and consulting with state grains biosecurity officers.
Early detection is paramount to limiting the impacts of an outbreak.
- To assist SA graingrowers in crop protection, PIRSA, in partnership with Plant Health Australia and Grain Producers Australia, is delivering the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program through new grain biosecurity officer Shafiya Hussein.
GRAINS biosecurity officer Shafiya Hussein (pictured) says all rungs of the supply chain can take action to reduce the risk of an outbreak.
IMPORTERS: Follow quarantine guidelines when importing grains, fodder, machinery, cereal products, seeds and food items. Refer to the BICON system to apply for import permits and have the relevant certification. Report any hitchhiking pests.
WAREHOUSE/RETAILERS: Conduct thorough inspections eg. check for pests on pallets and in cardboard boxes. Adequately fumigate consignments. Appropriately dispose of excess produce.
TRAVELLERS: Comply with quarantine restrictions when crossing national and state borders. Stop the spread of soil and plant pathogens by ensuring footwear, clothing and vehicle tyres are clean. Report any prohibited fresh produce and plant matter.
HOUSEHOLDERS: Regularly check pantries and cupboards for any beetles, moths and larvae. Reduce food wastage and dispose of excess food appropriately. Use a closed bin or compost heap to dispose of fruit and vegetable scraps. Report any prohibited fresh produce and plant matter.
AGRONOMISTS/CONSULTANTS: Regularly monitor crops for pests. Clean vehicles, footwear and clothes between farm visits. Pro-actively identify pests and diseases and report it to industry and biosecurity officers.
TRANSPORTERS: Check that vehicles are clean and free from soil and plant matter before entering a farm. Keep an eye out for pests in grain loads. Avoid roadside grain dumping - it can germinate and pose a biosecurity risk.
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