Biosecurity and AusGAP
Biosecurity is an important part of Australian life and agriculture; it ensures quality products are in the market space. AusGAP audit and monitor all aspects of the turfgrass production process and this includes farm biosecurity measures. We enforce these measures during our biannual inspections as an important step to maintaining genetic purity of our certified turf varieties. Read on to find out what poses a risk to farm biosecurity and how AusGAP aid in overcoming those risks.
There are 5 key risk areas involved when dealing with farm biosecurity:
1. People Movement
One of the easiest ways to compromise farm biosecurity is clothing and shoes, these can unintentionally carry pests and weeds and transfer them throughout the farm. AusGAP stipulate that to restrict people’s movement on the farm appropriate biosecurity signage to be displayed prominently at all farm entrances; no less than stating that visitors respect farm biosecurity and should contact the farm manager prior to entry. This allows proper protocols to be followed and lowers risk for breaches to farm biosecurity.
2. Product Movement
There are lots of moving parts that ensure a turf farm works efficiently and successfully. Moving stock on, around, and off the farm can cause cross contamination and infestation of weeds, pests, and diseases. AusGAP ensure all staff consider the risk and evaluate the best way to move product in an ecological and biosecurity friendly way. To further increase farm biosecurity AusGAP require that any brought-in turf material/fertiliser/manures or other crop inputs must be clearly recorded for their source and application areas should a quarantine area be required by AusGAP.
3. Equipment and Vehicles
Equipment used on the fields and vehicles moving on and off farm can carry weeds, disease and pests and can be the fastest way to distribute them around the paddocks and turf varieties. AusGAP require procedures and facilities in place for the cleaning or machinery, equipment and vehicles that have the potential to carry contaminants. Maintaining a wash down bay and designated parking area is essential to maintaining the integrity of farm biosecurity.
Water supplies and streams are high risk areas to farm biosecurity. It is important to manage contaminates to water supply and equipment as this can cause major spreading of weeds pests and diseases. AusGAP regularly discuss the biosecurity of water supplies on biannual inspections ensuring everything is to AusGAP’s standard working towards remaining compliant.
5. Weeds and Pests
Weeds and pests pose a serious threat to a farm’s biosecurity with the risk of contamination to genetically pure turf varieties. AusGAP specify that weed control programmes are essential to maintaining the control of weeds and pests that may also introduce diseases to plant stock.
Farm biosecurity must be in place to reduce weed, disease, insect, or other pathogen contamination potential from the movement of people, vehicles, and equipment to and from farm operations. AusGAP stipulate and monitor biosecurity measures in place as part of our business and turf production policies, ensuring everything remains compliant in maintaining the genetic purity of our certified turf varieties.