Videos encourage good melon farm biosecurity

Melon industry releases videos to improve farm biosecurity

Horticulture
INFORMATIVE: Northern Australia melon grower, "Tom" features in the series of videos released to encourage good biosecurity habits among travelling holiday makers.

INFORMATIVE: Northern Australia melon grower, "Tom" features in the series of videos released to encourage good biosecurity habits among travelling holiday makers.

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An animated melon grower is asking backpackers to be biosecurity champions.

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The awareness of disease spread has never been greater, and the melon industry hopes to piggyback off that to highlight farm biosecurity hygiene.

Part of the focus is showing the part travelling holiday makers play in maintaining strong on-farm biosecurity.

The industry has released three videos explaining in simple terms the easy steps travellers can take to make sure they don't unwittingly take pests or diseases into melon growing areas of Australia.

Melons Australia biosecurity officer, Joanna Embry, said the campaign would initially be targeted towards growing regions in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland where harvest is underway from August through to December.

"Despite current travel restrictions between states, there are still plenty of local travellers who are choosing to explore their own backyards for the first time, which makes our biosecurity message doubly important," Ms Embry said.

"As we've all learnt this year, minimising the risks of pest and disease really does take a collaborative effort," she said.

"A grower can do all the right things and have the tightest levels of biosecurity, but all it takes it one minor incident - like a well meaning holiday maker to step in to their paddock - for a major biosecurity breach to occur."

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Ms Embry said one of the most often cited problems that melon growers face, regarding maintaining farm biosecurity, is holiday makers who enter farms without permission to look at crops or harvest fruit.

"Melon farms are often in remote areas but near areas of natural beauty that attract travellers and backpackers so we really hope that holiday makers of all travel demographics learn something from these short videos and that the travel sector gets behind our awareness campaign," she said.

"We'd like all travellers to know how much all Australian melon growers and the broader horticulture and agriculture industries appreciate their efforts."

To view the video series visit the Melons Australia website: https://www.melonsaustralia.org.au/consumer-travelling-in-melon-regions/

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The story Videos encourage good melon farm biosecurity first appeared on Good Fruit & Vegetables.

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