Following serious biosecurity breaches in the pastural and agricultural sectors, funding was provided by the Waikato Farmers Trust to Gordon Findlay, which enabled him to research on-farm biosecurity planning, via the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme.
The recent outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) in the pastoral sector follows serious biosecurity breaches in the horticulture sector with Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) devastating kiwifruit orchards in 2010.
To develop an understanding of industry demand for farm-specific biosecurity plans and methods of delivery, an online survey of farmers was developed and distributed through social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. The ten-question survey site recorded 101 unique visits and resulted in 49 completed surveys.
The report found that whilst many farmers are acutely aware of the major sources of biosecurity risk to their business, they don’t necessarily have a clear picture of their obligations, or where a farm plan sits as part of the wider New Zealand biosecurity ecosystem and many feel responsibility sits with them, as guardians of the land, to manage that risk in isolation.
The findings also highlight farmer desire for assistance to coordinate biosecurity information to develop a farm specific plan and for help assessing whether that plan is fit for purpose.
Furthermore, farmers felt it would be beneficial to industry if all farms had an active biosecurity plan.
You can read the full report and findings here.