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Managing biosecurity

Managing weeds and diseases on your property

When bringing fodder and feed onto your property, you are exposed to pests, diseases and weeds found in other parts of Australia that you do not currently have.

You need to know where your feed and fodder has come from and what it is made up of so that you can manage any of these potential biosecurity risks.

If you are receiving donated fodder or feed you can take these steps:

  • Before you order or accept fodder and feed:
    • Know the source. Ask where the fodder has come from and what it is made up.
    • Check it is allowed into NSW and the risks you may be exposed to. Some fodder movements are restricted to protect the biosecurity of our land, water, food and fibre production. Check whether the fodder you are receiving is legal and whether certification is needed.
    • You should reject any fodder or feed that doesn’t meet NSW requirements.
  • When you receive and accept fodder and feed:
    • Keep a record of where you received fodder from and what it is made up of to help you trace any problems later.
    • Check it carefully by looking it over. While some weeds, diseases and pests are hard to spot, others may be more obvious.
    • If you see insects, snails, the consignment smells, the colour is not right, or there are other strange signs contact your Local Land Services office for advice.
  • When feeding:
    • Reduce risks by restricting feed-out areas to one or two “sacrificial paddocks” in places you can check in the weeks and months after each rain event for up to two years after a drought. Flat, accessible areas away from cropping paddocks and farm dam catchments are best.
    • Keep detailed livestock feeding records by paddock and mob so if a problem presents, you can track, trace and contain it.
  • After feeding and when it rains:
    • Keep an eye open for weeds and any new or unusual plants in feed-out areas, and areas on the banks of and around waterways for two years after a drought. Call your local council weeds officer to have them identified as soon as possible.
    • Control weeds as soon as you find them, before they are able to set seed. The NSW DPI Weedwise website and app are free and can help you with individual weed profiles and herbicides registered for control. Visit: weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au
    • Keep a close watch for any new or unknown plants, pests and diseases. Don’t hesitate to call for assistance. Contact Local Land Services, your local agronomist or your local council weeds officer for advice and assistance with identifying and managing potential biosecurity risks.

In NSW, manufactured stock feeds must adhere to strict labelling standards. This helps you to make informed decisions about your feed. You can learn more about what you should expect in relation to labelling of manufactured stock feeds on the DPI website.

Remember, it is illegal to feed ruminants (including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids and deer) meat or blood products from any vertebrate animal or bird including meat meal, meat and bone meal, bone flour, poultry meal, fish meal, and also feather meal or any part of an animal. It is also illegal to feed ruminants feed that has come into contact with these products. This reduces the risk of disease spread in animals.

Feed and fodder – high risk weeds

Preventing weeds protects our agricultural way of life

When you are bringing feed and fodder onto your property, you introduce the risk of weeds.

To understand how to manage this risk, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/feed-and-fodder

Some weeds are more likely than others to be found in feed and fodder. Keep an eye out for these high risk weeds.

Some of them are known as Prohibited Matter under the Biosecurity Act, which means you must report them if you see them.

For assistance and advice contact your local council weeds officer or call the Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244.

Feed and fodder - Managing biosecurity risks during dry times