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Protect your enterprise by developing a Biosecurity management plan

Biosecurity

Pip Cotter – NSW, DPI

A biosecurity management plan describes the steps you can take to minimise the risk of pests and diseases entering, establishing or spreading to you property or to other properties.

Identifying the potential biosecurity risks for your enterprise and putting steps in place to minimise those risks can help to reduce inputs costs and protect your industry.

Most growers and farm managers already take steps to minimise biosecurity risk, however many may not have documented their actions and plans. Often, the hardest part about putting a biosecurity management plan on paper, is knowing where to start.

Useful things to think about to ensure your biosecurity management plan works for your enterprise include, asking yourself…

  • What am I trying to protect?

My income, family’s future, sustainable farming, market access, industry

  • How can I protect it?

By preventing the entry of pests, diseases and weeds, especially the ones that you don’t already have

Think about how pests and diseases could gain entry to your property, or spread to another property, for example these may be:

  • Anything arriving onto your property, e.g. plant material, water or fertiliser
  • Anything leaving your property
  • People movement, vehicles and equipment can carry pests, weeds and diseases
  • Not following hygiene practice

 How to control the risks

Think about what steps you already have in place, or can easily introduce, to prevent the entry or spread of pests and diseases.

  • Monitoring your crops and produce for pests and diseases
  • Training yourself and your staff to report anything unusual
  • Keeping good records of farm inputs and outputs
  • Participating in Quality Assurance schemes

There are a range of resources available to assist you with the development of your biosecurity management plan. For more information and resources to start preparing your plan

  • See farmbiosecurity.com for a variety of resources and templates, including a generic ‘Farm Biosecurity Action Planner’ you can tailor to your enterprise
  • Speak to your Industry Development Officers
  • Check out your industry peak body websites
  • Talk to other growers about the steps they take

A good first step is to use a farm biosecurity action planner like the one provided at farmbiosecurity.com to identify which practices you already do well and those that you may not have previously considered.

NSW growers

A newly formed arrangement for NSW commercial production landholders has commenced on 1st August 2019 under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. The arrangement has been developed to ensure people entering farms that are managed by a biosecurity management plan comply with the measures outlined in the plan. Visitors to the property who do not comply with active management plans may be held accountable by the owner under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. If you wish to use this new arrangement on your property, growers must have an up-to-date farm biosecurity management plan in action with a visitor registration and specific biosecurity farm gate sign located on all exterior entrances to the area. The NSW LLS is providing free signs (and stickers to update existing signs) until 31 December 2019.

For more information, head to NSW DPI biosecurity management plan

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