The Grains Farm Biosecurity Research Program recently shared an article about managing biosecurity risks during field days.

Field days provide valuable opportunities for growers, agricultural professionals and extension workers to learn about the latest farming technology, different seed varieties and techniques to boost production.

But these events are a hive of activity with people and vehicles moving around, creating opportunities for hitchhiking pests and diseases to spread.

The Grains Farm Biosecurity Research Program shared some tips for managing biosecurity risks at field days.

Top 10 biosecurity tips for field days:

  1. Include a biosecurity message in publicity fliers. For example: ‘In the interest of farm biosecurity, please ensure all footwear and vehicles are free of soil’.
  2. Ensure all vehicles are parked in a designated area. This can help to contain the spread of a new pest and make monitoring for new pests and weeds much easier.
  3. Consider using a bus for transport to field sites to reduce the risks associated with vehicle movement.
  4. Set up boot scrapers and a foot bath at site access points. These can be located either at the entry to the property, and prior to getting back on a bus.
  5. Have hand washing facilities and sanitiser available for use.
  6. Register all attendees. This can help to trace the origin and spread of new pests and diseases that might occur as a result of the field day.
  7. Ensure the field site has biosecurity signage. Signs can remind attendees of the importance of biosecurity and requirements at the site.
  8. Remember that caterers, trade or industry representatives, and hired staff erecting marquees should also comply with field day hygiene guidelines.
  9. Monitor the car park and the sites visited for signs of any new diseases, pests or weeds for up to a year after the event. New pests can take a while to show up and your obligation to the site should not end with the field day.
  10. Remind attendees of the risks and encourage good farm biosecurity practice. This can include advice for attendance at future field days, as well as information on good farm biosecurity practice.

Read the full article here.

We share this information with you to highlight that biosecurity messaging aligns across different agriculture sectors, nuanced of course for pest risks to ensure efficacy of specific measures. You will note the direct parallel of information above to Vinehealth’s Top 10 farm-gate hygiene risks and our Biosecurity Planning for Vineyard Owners Hosting Visitors fact sheet.

Promotion of consistent biosecurity messaging across the country, for primary producers and their supply chains, but also to the public, is vital to ensure that we protect primary production and regional communities from a biosecurity shock.