Producer Guide to the National Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for Potato Growers
A Guide to Developing Your Farm Biosecurity Plan

1. Understanding the Concepts: Farm Property Management

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Target Outcome:

Detailed map(s) are used in the development of the farm biosecurity plan to identify potential access points for pests and diseases, pathways for pest and disease transmission, designated areas, and traffic flow.  New construction and renovations are designed to enhance existing biosecurity measures.

This section addresses the geographical layout of your farm and the biosecurity opportunities that are associated with new construction and renovations.

1.1 Farm Facility Location and Layout

A detailed farm map is an important part of a farm biosecurity plan. Maps provide a visual perspective of the overall layout of the farm and help producers to better understand how:

  1. the access points to their operation may serve as pathways for diseases and pests (weeds, insects, nematodes);
  2. the layout and location of fields, buildings, and designated areas (cleaning and disinfecting) may reduce or increase the biosecurity risk.
    • Examples

    • The biosecurity risk to a high-generation seed potato field is increased if planted adjacent to a field planted with lower-class seed.

    • The biosecurity risk associated with visitors to the farm is reduced if cleaning and disinfecting facilities are located in close proximity to the visitor entrance.

An existing farm map, including one used for the Environmental Farm Plan or  CanadaGAPTM can be effectively used as the start for your biosecurity map. Alternatively, use a detailed physical map or aerial photo.

Your map should include:

  • all buildings;
  • all production fields, including fields with rotational crops and traded land;
  • all farm roads and field access points;
  • the main entrance where all visitors and deliveries arrive;
  • designated parking for visitors and staff;
  • cleaning and disinfection areas; and
  • geographical features such as forested areas, streams, drainage directions.

Considerations for your farm location and layout:

  • Locate cleaning and disinfecting facilities near a main access point to allow for inspection, and cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, vehicles, etc. that must enter the farm.
  • Establish a dedicated staff and visitor entry, where cleaning and disinfection capacity is readily available.
  • Create a dedicated parking area for visitors and staff to reduce the risk of non-farm vehicles introducing plant material and soil (and associated pests and diseases) onto and within the farm.  
  • Foster an awareness of the risk associated with the geographical aspects of your farm, and with wind and waterborne diseases or pests to enable better assessment of disease risk on your farm.

    Example

    Soil-borne pathogens can move in the sediment associated with surface run-off or floodwaters thus resulting in a risk factor for fields that are subject to flooding or receiving run-off water.

  • Plant higher-generation seed in isolation, or if impossible, consider what is being planted in neighbouring fields.
  • Outline the appropriate routes for on- and off-farm vehicles to travel when moving around the farm.

1.2 New Construction Renovations

When renovating or constructing a new building, there are biosecurity elements to consider in maintaining or enhancing biosecurity measures on your farm. Plan the location and purpose of a new building in context with the farm layout.  Depending on the purpose of a new building, it may be best located inside or in close proximity of an existing biosecurity zone or cleaning facility. Similarly, to effectively control access to the building, the location of the entrance and exit doors should be strategically considered.

Effective cleaning and disinfecting is best achieved on clean, hard, non-porous surfaces. When designing new buildings, or undertaking renovations to existing structures, consider materials that are easily cleaned and disinfected, especially for those exposed surfaces that come in direct contact with potatoes.

Examples

  • concrete rather than dirt floors;
  • steel storage walls instead of wood;
  • plastic bins instead of wood.

In situations where materials such as wood and other porous materials must be used, it is important to conduct thorough cleaning. Increased contact times with disinfectants on cleaned porous surfaces may also help to maximize the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

Biosecurity risks are associated with construction activities, due to the movement of materials, people, and equipment. The farm biosecurity plan should be considered during the planning and work phase of any construction and renovation project to ensure that the integrity of the plan is maintained.

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