Biosecurity incursions are one of Queensland agriculture's greatest business risks with exotic pests, diseases and weeds having a potentially crippling impact on both plant and animal production systems, and animal health and wellbeing across the state.
In 2020, more than 60,000 parcels of a potential biosecurity risk were intercepted at Australia's international mail centres.
This number includes 55,000 parcels containing seeds and 3000 containing pork products.
As the movement of people and goods around the globe increases following the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of biosecurity incursions is expected to increase.
While recent rainfall and flooding across the state have encouraged the emergence and spread of summer weeds that not only remove valuable soil moisture and nutrients but also act as hosts for pests and diseases in crops.
Farmers spend significant amounts of time and money on battling biosecurity incursions.
According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences' (ABARES) Pest Animal and Weed Management Survey 2016-2019: results showed a 41 per cent increase between 2016 and 2019 in farmers reporting crop loss, degradation or loss of value from pests, particularly insects.
With 74 per cent of land managers actively managing a pest animal on their property in 2019, corresponding to 66 days undertaking management activities at a cost of $11,576 per agricultural property.
To assist with farm biosecurity management, farmers are encouraged to download the Queensland government's 'Farm Check-In' app, install signs at their gate for visitors to check-in and incorporate the app requirements into their biosecurity management plans.
The agriculture sector continues to play its part by limiting the impact of pests and diseases and fulfilling its prevention and management obligations to ensure Queensland's economy, natural environment, health and way of life is not adversely impacted.
However, we still need significantly more resourcing to address many of the pest and weed species that are gaining a foothold and spreading in Queensland.
All Queenslanders have a General Biosecurity Obligation to manage biosecurity risks and threats.
If you see or suspect a biosecurity pest or disease, you must report it to Biosecurity Queensland at daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/biosecurity or call 13 25 23.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.