Farm Biosecurity

A dirty vehicle or piece of machinery arriving on your farm could be hiding a microscopic organism with the potential to cause you some major headaches. 

Soil, water, plant and animal material can carry tiny unwanted pests, diseases or weed seeds that make farmland expensive to manage, even unusable. The biggest risk comes from vehicles, machinery and equipment coming onto your property carrying contaminated soil or mud. Before you know it we’ve got a huge expense and a whole lot of heartache that can last for generations.

That’s why we’re working hard on our Arrive Clean, Leave Clean campaign. We’re asking land managers, contractors, government and non-government agencies – anyone who visits bushland, farmland or remote areas – to make sure vehicles, machinery, tools, equipment, clothing and footwear are spotlessly clean before venturing out, and to clean up again before leaving a site.

We want to get the message out there that anyone who shows up at a property or worksite who hasn’t cleaned up first, risks being turned away.

The same should apply to your farm. Don’t let a dirty ute, tractor or excavator be the reason you become the next victim of gorse or Spanish heath. You can keep the risk down by having a dedicated cleandown station at the entrance to your property, and minimising the comings and goings of vehicles and machinery that could be hiding an unwanted pest, disease or weed seed.

If your visitor isn’t able to clean their vehicle before entering your property, make sure they stick to designated tracks or, better still, get them to park and take them where they need to go in a farm vehicle.

If they are coming to do a job that involves moving soil or harvesting crops and have dirty machinery, turning them away or providing an area for them to clean down could save you time and effort in the long term.

Follow our Check, Clean, Disinfect, Dry protocols for best results:

Check, Clean and Dry your vehicle, machinery and equipment between uses, and if you can’t be sure your gear will dry before you next use it, Disinfect as well.

  • When washing, hose off all the mud you can find, and pay particular attention to the hard-to-reach places such as tyre tread, mudguards and under cowlings.
  • Don’t forget to wash your muddy gear and clothing too.
  • If your vehicle or equipment is unlikely to dry completely, or you are visiting an intensive farm production area, use F10 disinfectant to kill any microorganisms that might be hiding (be careful where you drain it – although it is a biodegradable, low-toxicity disinfectant, F10 should be kept away from waterways).

Biosecurity kits and F10

NRM South supplies F10 and biosecurity kits. See the price list here.

Do you have a biosecurity plan for your property? If not, our Biosecurity Network partners the Livestock Biosecurity Network have a range of biosecurity planning resources on their website.

For an introduction to what you need to consider, begin with NRM South’s farm biosecurity fact sheet.

For more resources to help you with on-farm biosecurity planning, check our online resources sheet.

Planning (Part 1)

Cleandown (Part 2)