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Australian grain producers are being reminded to install new farm biosecurity signs – or update their existing signage – to help protect their crops and businesses from the potentially devastating impacts of pests and diseases.


A recent Grain Central article highlighted new communications issued by Grains Biosecurity Officers, providing expert advice for producers on farm biosecurity risk-management practices.


Their messages warn about the need to be vigilant with farm biosecurity signs, and for managing biosecurity risks when it comes to buying second-hand farm machinery and interstate movements.


Grains Biosecurity Officers operate in the major grain producing states of Australia and form part of the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program that was launched in 2007.


The program is a proactive partnership that’s managed by Plant Health Australia and funded by levy-paying growers through Grain Producers Australia, together with the New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian, Victorian and Western Australian governments.


The Grains Biosecurity Officers located in each of these five states are a valuable resource for producers to access tools and knowledge on grains specific programs.


This initiative forms part of GPA’s roles and responsibilities representing Australia’s 22,5000 levy-paying grain producers and helps manage industry biosecurity risks proactively – to help strengthen protections for growers and deliver shared benefits across the nation.

Pic: GPA National Mental Health Ambassador, Brad Hogg, with grains biosecurity signs at a field day display, by one of the Grains Biosecurity Officers.

WA based Grains Biosecurity Officer, Jeff Russell, issued a statement which provided important advice on the need to install farm biosecurity signs and where producers can access them.


Templates can be downloaded from the Plant Health Australia website and they’re also free to growers.


In WA, the free signs are available from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD’s) Northam office. Other states can contact their local Grains Biosecurity Officer directly, with details provided HERE


Mr Russell said the farm signs were a simple but effective tool to manage on-farm biosecurity risks. 

Pic: WA based Grains Biosecurity Officer, Jeff Russell, (left) and GPA Chair and WA grower, Barry Large.

“Farm signs to direct property entries are a first line of defence tool to mitigate pest and disease threats for all primary producers,” he said.


“Adopting a ‘Come clean, Go clean’ philosophy for machinery, livestock, product and people movements on properties is a powerful step to protect businesses.


“Having a clearly marked parking area and clean down areas to ensure all vehicles and machinery are clean before entering production areas is another useful practice.”


Victorian Grains Biosecurity Officer, Jim Moran, (Agriculture Victoria) offered some timely advice about biosecurity risks, in regards to importing used machinery from interstate – such as tractors, seeders, sprayers, harvesters, baling or storage equipment .


His statement said there was a need to ensure these machines complied with Victorian biosecurity legislation (Plant Biosecurity Act 2010) and the Conditions of entry described in the Victorian Plant Biosecurity Manual.


Pic: Victorian Grains Biosecurity Officer, Jim Moran.

He said biosecurity risks are carried in soil, animal or plant material found on or inside used farm machinery.


Therefore, they must be thoroughly cleaned, free of plant material and visible soil, and inspected by a government officer, his statement read.


“A Plant Health Certificate must then be issued before movement into Victoria. There are costs and time involved with such a thorough clean, often requiring the partial dismantling of the machine or equipment to access all the hidden away, hard to get at areas.  For example, debris is commonly found collecting in the driver’s cabin, on the chassis, in the grain bin, augers, belts, elevators, spreaders, choppers, tyres, rims, sieves, radiator and under any guards.”


Tips for buyers:

  • It’s the importer’s responsibility to ensure all imported, used agricultural equipment is thoroughly clean prior to export and a PHC is obtained.  The cost of dismantling, cleaning, and certifying a grain harvester sometimes totalling over $10,000

  • Used agricultural equipment found to be unacceptably contaminated on arrival will be re-exported or subjected to an expensive cleaning process at the expense of the new owner

  • Use an experienced machinery dealer who regularly imports from other states.  Different dealers offer varying support and services in the price they quote

  • Don’t get stuck with a dirty machine. It’s a massive biosecurity risk to your farm and the grains industry. If it doesn’t arrive clean, you will have to clean it before using it

  • Practical and inexpensive farm biosecurity tactics are found at Farm Biosecurity website  and Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity website  

  • The Grains Farm Biosecurity Manual here

  • Contact Agriculture Victoria on 136186 for any biosecurity related matters.



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