Developing Your Biosecurity Plan: The National Voluntary Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Fruit and Tree Nut Industries
5.0 Site Selection: Geography, Location and Layout

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Target Outcome:

Use knowledge of geography, location and layout to plant new sites and to protect existing or neighbouring sites.

The consideration of biosecurity risks when making a selection of the location for a production area may make biosecurity and production practices easier. Potential sources of biosecurity risks may be neighbouring sites (operating or abandoned), nurseries, other commercial plantings, native vegetation and urban plantings. Aspects of geography (for example: elevation or topography), environmental factors (for example: water availability and wind direction), location and layout may contribute to the health of plants. Know the history of the land use to ensure it is compatible for your intended use (not a landfill site, toxic waste, presence of pests in the soil). When choosing a new location for a production area, consider drainage, neighbours, neighbouring land uses, exposure, local plant life, proximity to water and weeds.

Benefits

Knowledge of your geographical location, land use history and layout when deciding where to plant will help optimize the likelihood of meeting your biosecurity objectives.

Considerations

  • Evaluate existing sites to identify biosecurity risks and implement measures to mitigate those risks.

Geography and Environmental Factors

  • Plant on sites that have reduced risk of pest introduction by the prevailing wind direction as wind can carry spores or insects.
  • Select sites that are free of the pests of concern.
  • Make use of topography to assist with drainage and reduction of standing water in production areas.
  • Assess soil conditions including subsoil compaction and water holding capacity to ensure optimum drainage.
  • Consider water availability and accessibility.
  • Ensure the climate is compatible for the type of fruit or nut that will be grown.

Location

  • Conduct an assessment of the history and previous use of newly acquired or leased land. This will provide knowledge of the pests which might be of concern, and will also provide information on the potential build-up of chemical control products.
  • Identify neighbouring land uses such as livestock and poultry operations, or non-farm uses (for example: dumpsites and industry refineries) that can have the potential to contaminate your fruit or nuts and/or have a negative effect on soil condition.
  • Identify potential host plants within and around your production areas and remove or implement control measures for potential hosts.
  • Locate your production areas away from neighbouring crops that may be potential hosts or vectors of pests.
  • Be aware of the management practices of neighbouring sites as they may impact your management strategies. For example, pesticides may reduce populations of beneficial insects.
  • Use natural barriers such as roadways or neighbouring farm boundaries (for example; windbreak or hedge) to help control access to your site.

Layout

  • Designate an area located away from production areas to clean tools, equipment, boots and vehicles prior to entry to the production areas.
  • Locate debris and compost away from production sites to prevent pest introduction and spread.
  • Locate designated receiving areas for inspection of inputs (for example: nursery stock) away from production sites. The receiving area should also allow for cleaning and treatment, if necessary.
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