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
Appendix C: Tools for Plan Development and Documentation

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Self-Assessment Tool

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. This tool, or checklist of key questions, is as follows:

1. Can I avoid the introduction of a biosecurity risk that I currently do not have? YescheckboxNocheckbox
Yes No
Crop inputs like seed, fertilizer, manure, waste, and water brought onto the farm are assessed for their potential to introduce pests. checkbox checkbox
Delivery vehicles, farm implements and/or equipment that enter the farm are assessed for their potential to introduce pests. checkbox checkbox
Soil movement is minimized. Non-agricultural equipment entering the farm is assessed for the potential to introduce pests. checkbox checkbox
Visitors, guests, trades people, agronomists, and suppliers travelling by vehicle or by foot are assessed for their potential to introduce pests. checkbox checkbox
Farm vehicles, implements or people that leave the farm and return home are assessed to determine the potential introduction of pests. checkbox checkbox
2. Can I contain and minimize the biosecurity risks that I already have? Yescheckbox No checkbox
Yes No
Alternative cropping strategies, crop rotation, crop and variety selection and field history are recognized as potential management tools to minimize the spread of pests. checkbox checkbox
Soil movement is minimized. The movement of equipment and people within the farm, seen as potential carriers of pest problems, is managed in a practical and effective manner. checkbox checkbox
Timely scouting and monitoring, along with a clear understanding of economic thresholds and implications of control measures, are used in decision-making. checkbox checkbox
There is a water management strategy for my farm. Appropriate drainage exists to minimize the movement of pests. checkbox checkbox
Intended management practices are documented and all farm employees and decision-makers are aware, informed and committed. checkbox checkbox
Intended management practices are documented and all external service providers and production partners are aware, informed and committed. checkbox checkbox
3. Can I avoid pests leaving my farm? Yescheckbox Nocheckbox
Yes No
Trucks and/or farm equipment leaving the farm are assessed for their potential to spread a pest from the farm to other farms or areas. checkbox checkbox
Appropriate signage exists. checkbox checkbox
Bins and handling equipment are inspected and cleaned before being used and grain condition is monitored. checkbox checkbox
Water exiting my farm is managed to reduce the potential to spread pests. checkbox checkbox
Unmarketable product and screenings are managed to minimize the risk of pests leaving the farm. checkbox checkbox
4. Do I need a biosecurity risk management plan for my farm? Yescheckbox Nocheckbox
Yes No
Will a biosecurity management plan help support my business objectives in maintaining markets and accessing new markets? checkbox checkbox
Do my customers currently demand biosecurity practices and protocols? Will this be increasing in the future? checkbox checkbox
Do I have a responsibility to my neighbours and my industry to ensure I am not the point of introduction of a biosecurity risk to others? checkbox checkbox
Do my management and staff know and understand pest management techniques? checkbox checkbox
Do I make it known to my suppliers, farming colleagues, researchers, local governments, working partners and visitors that we need to manage pests? checkbox checkbox
Would I, my management, and/or my staff know what to do if a significant pest issue became evident on my farm? checkbox checkbox

Example of a Documented Biosecurity Management Plan

The following pages are not intended to be a workbook for completion. These templates are provided as an example of how you may wish to format your farm's biosecurity plan.

Input Procurement Practices

Crop inputs like seed, fertilizer, manure, waste, and water brought onto the farm are assessed for their potential to introduce pests.

Input Procurement Practices
Potential Condition or Vector (Where your farm has specific risks) Plans and Procedures (What you will do to manage those risks)
Seed
Fertilizer
Manure
Waste
Water
Other

Managing Equipment Movement

Delivery vehicles, farm implements and/or equipment that enter the farm, travel within the farm and/or leave the farm, are assessed for their potential to introduce pests.

Soil movement is minimized. Non-agricultural equipment entering the farm, traveling within the farm and/or leaving the farm, is assessed for the potential to introduce pests.

When farm vehicles or implements leave the farm and return home, an assessment has been made to determine the potential introduction of pests.

Managing Equipment Movement
Potential Condition or Vector (Where your farm has specific risks) Plans and Procedures (What you will do to manage those risks)
Equipment purchases/rental
Custom field operators
Non-agricultural equipment
Combine
Tillage equipment
Other

Variety, Field and Crop Selection (including Rotation)

Alternative cropping strategies, crop rotation, crop and variety selection and field history are recognized as potential management tools to minimize the spread of pests.

Variety, Field and Crop Selection (including Rotation)
Potential Condition or Vector (Where your farm has specific risks) Plans and Procedures (What you will do to manage those risks)
Crop residue
Variety susceptibility
Herbicide resistance
Field susceptibility
Water
Other

Infield Monitoring and Control Practices

Timely scouting and monitoring, along with a clear understanding of economic thresholds and implications of control measures, are used in decision-making.

There is a water management strategy for my farm. Appropriate drainage exists to minimize the movement of pests.

Infield Monitoring and Control Practices
Potential Condition or Vector (Where your farm has specific risks) Plans and Procedures (What you will do to manage those risks)
Lack of scouting
Lack of monitoring
Multiple conditions in consideration of economic threshold analysis
Water
Other

Managing People Access and Movement

Visitors, guests, trades people, agronomists, and suppliers travelling by vehicle or by foot are assessed for their potential to introduce pests.

When people leave the farm and return home, an assessment has been made to determine the potential introduction of pests.

Appropriate signage exists.

Managing People Access and Movement
Potential Condition or Vector (Where your farm has specific risks) Plans and Procedures (What you will do to manage those risks)
Guest
Off-road vehicle operators
Neighbours
Trades people, suppliers, agronomists
Hunters, eco-tourists
Other

Storage, Handling and Transport

Bins and handling equipment are inspected before being used and grain condition is monitored.

Unmarketable products and screenings are managed to minimize the risk of pests leaving the farm.

Storage, Handling and Transport
Potential Condition or Vector (Where your farm has specific risks) Plans and Procedures (What you will do to manage those risks)
Trucking
In-field equipment / temporary storage
Condition and integrity of storage facilities
Water
Bin monitoring
Lack of grain sampling
Disclosure to buyers
Other

Management Plan Development, Updating and Renewal

My management, and/or my staff, know what to do if a significant pest issue became evident on my farm.

My suppliers, farming colleagues, researchers, local governments, working partners and visitors are aware that together we need to take specific actions to manage pests.

Intended management practices are documented and all internal farm employees and decision-makers, as well as external service providers and production partners, are aware, informed and committed.

Management Plan Development, Updating and Renewal
Potential Condition or Vector (Where your farm has specific risks) Plans and Procedures (What you will do to manage those risks)
Poor documentation of practices
Lack of training
Poor record keeping
Lack of communication among management and staff
Lack of communication with external stakeholders
Other

Potential Contract Considerations

Biosecurity risks and related management plan issues, particularly those with significant potential financial consequences, need to be understood by those with whom you do business. Realistic agreements should be documented to clarify what course of action each party expects. This should not be perceived as being overly detailed and difficult to deal with. It is about being prudent and protecting the value of your assets.

Examples of potential considerations to include in documented contracts include:

Equipment Purchase Agreement

  • Define levels of adequate cleaning; include verification of adequate cleaning.
  • Some mechanism that the seller/dealer can use to provide assurance that all soil and plant material will be removed before the equipment arrives at the farm.

Custom Work Agreement

  • Define levels of adequate cleaning; include verification of adequate cleaning.
  • Understand and agree upon protocol on how clean the equipment should be before it arrives at the farm.
  • Seek service providers that respect such protocol.

Trucking Affidavit

  • Define truck clean-out procedures and verification.
  • Does the trucker have a standard protocol that they already use that can verify the truck has been cleaned?
  • Seek service providers that respect such protocol.

Crop Scouting and Monitoring Contract

  • Define the requirements regarding hygiene for access and movement.
  • For specific crops in specific seasons, ensure an understanding of the expectations of protocol to be followed.
  • Seek service providers that respect such protocol.

Input Supplier Agreement

  • Define delivery protocol, for example, truck delivery points determined and documented, and adequate cleaning of wheels and chassis specified.
  • Document the need for adequate clean-outs in the input supply chain to help ensure no weed seeds or impurities are delivered to the farm.

Equipment Log

For farms that already keep daily records of what work is undertaken by what equipment, you may simply want to add to the records the previous field and the cleaning required before the move.

For custom application or rented equipment, you may want to consider a log similar to the following.

Equipment Log
Date Equipment Field Location Previous Use Previous Location Cleaning Procedure Inspection Yes/No Notes

Farm and Field Mapping

Following is an example of a satellite image used to geo-reference a farmyard and fields:
satellite image used to geo-reference a farmyard and fields. Description follows.

Photo: Courtesy of Farmers Edge
Water management issues, weed infestation locations, and insect or disease outbreaks could be recorded to assist in managing multi-year biosecurity management plans. Third party service providers can be used to develop and retain this information.

A hand-drawn map could be used to assist in recording grain storage locations year over year.

Communication Plan Outline

Ensure farm management and staff have an understanding of the biosecurity management plans and procedures. Conduct seasonal meetings to review and update protocol.

Ensure adequate communication; inform suppliers, farming colleagues, researchers, local governments, working partners and visitors of your biosecurity management plans. Use such tools and techniques as:

  • Logs to record people, vehicles, and/or equipment movement, where necessary, in an advanced risk situation
  • Signage to help limit access
  • Signage to help direct traffic in your yard
  • Documentation of working agreements and operational expectations with suppliers
  • Seasonal meetings with staff to discuss key biosecurity issues for the upcoming season
  • Biosecurity management responsibilities outlined within job descriptions or listing of accountabilities

People Log

You may want to record the movement of people entering the farm to monitor potential biosecurity risk introduction.

People Log
Date Guest Purpose of Visit Location on Farm Previous Location(s) Traveled Informed of Risks Yes/No Precautions Taken Notes
Date modified: