Producer Guide to the National Voluntary Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Grains and Oilseeds Industry - A Guide for Implementing Proactive Biosecurity into Farm Management
How to Start Developing Your Biosecurity Management Plan

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The Standard document included a tool (see Appendix C) for assessing an individual farm's biosecurity management processes to help determine the requirements for a biosecurity management plan. The purpose of completing this assessment is to assist farm owners and operators in determining the need and the priorities of a documented plan for each farm enterprise. Although every farm is exposed to some level of risk in each category, the degree of exposure and the potential consequences may vary widely for each individual farm, depending on region, crop mix and management practices.

The self-assessment tool raises questions about the applicability of a biosecurity plan in the following areas of your farm business:

1. Can I avoid the introduction of a biosecurity risk that I currently do not have? YEScheckbox NOcheckbox

  • By monitoring quality and purity of crop input purchases.
  • By monitoring and managing delivery vehicle and farm equipment movement.
  • By controlling and monitoring soil movement from non-agricultural equipment.
  • By monitoring and controlling access by guests, trades people and suppliers.
  • By considering where farm vehicles have been before they return.

2. Can I contain and minimize the biosecurity risks that I already have? Yescheckbox Nocheckbox

  • By using alternative cropping strategies and rotations.
  • By minimizing soil movement by equipment or people from one area to another.
  • By employing timely scouting and control measures.
  • By managing water movement.
  • By establishing standard practices for employees.
  • By clear and transparent communication within the farm and to outside suppliers.

3. Can I avoid pests leaving my farm? Yescheckbox Nocheckbox

  • By monitoring trucks and equipment leaving the farm.
  • By posting appropriate signage.
  • By inspecting and cleaning grain bins and handling equipment.
  • By monitoring water movement.
  • By managing unmarketable production.

4. Do I need a biosecurity risk management plan for my farm? Yescheckbox Nocheckbox

  • To support business objectives.
  • To meet emerging customer demands.
  • To meet responsibility to my neighbours.
  • To better understand pest management.
  • To work more effectively with suppliers.
  • To be prepared for unexpected pest issues.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your farm will benefit from having a biosecurity management plan. A biosecurity management plan can add value to a farm by:

  • assisting in increasing yield and the quality of crops produced;
  • providing additional lines of defense from pests not currently on your farm;
  • building greater land value if documented evidence shows a sound biosecurity management plan; and,
  • potentially accessing new (higher-value) markets where biosecurity practices and protocols are required.

It is recognized that many existing good agronomic and operational management practices address biosecurity risks in and of themselves. Developing and implementing a biosecurity management plan is not to replace, but to enhance, these management practices.

It is also understood that applying all of the best practices under all circumstances would incur unnecessary costs and economic consequences. Priorities for farm-level biosecurity should be established for each farm enterprise. The responsibility of farmers is to develop and implement their specific management plan.

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