Specialist agricultural insurer Achmea Australia recognises the importance of biosecurity to the grains industry and the significant risk posed by weeds, pests, and disease.
James Humphreys, Achmea Australia’s Farm Insurance Specialist in the greater Perth and Wheatbelt districts of Western Australia, reminds growers of measures they can implement to reduce biosecurity risk.
“If a new weed or disease enters a farming operation, it can bring with it financial, managerial, and emotional strain to the business. Eradication or control could take several growing seasons and the increased use of chemicals, machinery and labour will drive up costs. Yield or quality of your crop may also be impacted, resulting in overall loss of income,” James said.
“The best protection is prevention,” said James. “This means putting in place measures to prevent or minimise threats posed by people, equipment and materials entering the farm,” he said.
“Focus on managing people and vehicle movements around the property. Have good farm and machinery hygiene, monitor for new weeds or pests, and have a reporting mechanism in place in the event these threats are identified,” said James.
The following practices are a good starting point to help reduce biosecurity risk on your farm:
- Display biosecurity warning signs on your boundary fences and front gate, requiring visitors to obtain permission and adhere to any biosecurity measures in place.
- Keep a register of all people, vehicles and equipment entering your property so that movements can be easily traced.
- Provide a parking area for vehicles, as well as a wash in/wash out point for visitors to scrub their footwear upon arrival and when leaving your farm.
- Establish a dedicated area for cleaning farm vehicles and equipment and monitor the area regularly for the presence of pests or weeds.
- Inform your employees of any biosecurity risks in the region or on your property and train them to identify weeds and monitor crops for signs of disease.
“Keeping farmers farming through risk mitigation is at the heart of our approach to farm insurance,” said James.
“By implementing biosecurity measures on your farm, you are not only protecting your business, but you are also protecting the resilience of the agricultural industry,” James said.
For more information on farm biosecurity or for tools on how to develop a biosecurity management plan, please visit www.farmbiosecurity.com.au
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About Achmea Australia
Achmea Australia is part of the Achmea Group, which is one of the largest insurance companies in the Netherlands. The Achmea Group has approximately 13 million clients worldwide and is fully dedicated to farm insurance in Australia.
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