Post harvest season on a truffle farm is often a time of heightened activity, so bio security should be top of mind.
What is bio security?
Truffle farm bio security means taking measures to protect your plantation. Threats from the introduction of potentially invasive pests, diseases, and weeds as well as unwanted competing fungi are very real. Most countries with agricultural industries, have bio-security measures in place at a national level, to reduce the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering the country.
At the local level however, it’s especially important to have good bio security practices in place on your farm. Protecting your farm environment, is firstly and for-mostly, your own responsibility.
Why risk your asset?
Poorly managed on-farm bio security may lead to potential issues. Contamination from unwanted mycorrhizal fungi, poor truffle quality and reduced yield are all realities of certain pest and disease damage. Whilst it’s impossible to eliminate all potential pest and disease threats to your farm, you can however, greatly minimise risks.
Protecting your farm
The key thing to keep in mind is the many different ways that a breach may occur on your property. Primarily it will be people, animals, equipment and machinery that provide the opportunity for movement of unwanted pests, disease, weeds and mycorrhizae.
Having a plan in place to address all of these elements is the only way to protect your farm from potential issues.
The basics are going to include;
- Minimizing all unnecessary visitation and movement around the farm
- Designated parking areas for visitors to control movement
- Using an appropriate fence system
- Signage and information about risk of contaminants
- Foot-baths for people who do need to enter the plantation
- Perhaps providing ‘on farm’ footwear’ for visitors
- Wash-down area for machinery bought to the farm
Further information resources
This article is written to highlight the importance of truffle farm bio security and encouraging growers to learn more about it. There’s much more detail and some great resources on the following websites, to guide you through setting up a valuable system on your farm.