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TAS Country : April 26th 2012
6 Tasmanian Country Friday, April 27, 2012 Animals, weeds, soil and GROUNDWORK: Crops will be in focus at Agfest, from soil conditioning to seed and water issues. PROTECTION: Tassie Devil. PRIORITY: Quarantine laws. We look at ways to protect and grow agribusiness THE Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) exhibit at Agfest 2012 will highlight some of the ways farmers can protect their agricultural en- terprises and grow their future. Incursions by invasive species have the potential to impose enormous costs on Tas- mania's agricultural industries as well as on forestry, tourism and social amenity. DPIPWE's new Invasive Species Branch will be harness- ing the expertise of specialists across the Department in a single co-ordinated program to address issues such as fox eradi- cation in Tasmania, weed man- agement, and the impact of feral cats and other animals. Information on fox eradi- cation activities will be avail- able at the Agfest exhibit. Support is crucial for the success of the eradication effort and to ensure Tasmania be- comes fox-free. Landowners can hear the facts about baiting and monitoring programs being run across the state. It is vital that all fox sightings or any possible evidence of fox activity are reported to the 24-hour fox hotline: 1300 FOX OUT (1300 369 688). All calls are confidential. Weed spread on farms can also be a major issue. DPIPWE's Agfest exhibit in- cludes a trailer display of a portable wash-down unit that landowners can use to help reduce the spread of weeds on their property. Early identification is import- ant and department staff will be on hand to provide advice and information on weed control and eradication. Of course the most effective method of dealing with weeds is to help prevent their spread in the first place. Measures that can assist weed control include buying weed-free fodder and seed where possible, quarantining new livestock and checking and washing down machinery to reduce the spread of weeds. Biosecurity is an important issue for all Tasmanians and DPIPWE is responsible for the management of scientific risk- based systems to ensure the exclusion, eradication or effec- tive management of pests and diseases in Tasmania to main- tain the relative pest, disease and GMO-free status of the state and the competitive advantages these provide for our agricul- tural industries. Quarantine Tasmania is at the forefront of providing a barrier function to prevent the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases. This year at Agfest you can also inspect the display of the state's fruit fly trapping system --- a very simple but highly effective system. The bright yellow Quarantine Amnesty Bin spotted at airports and seaports in Tasmania will also be centre stage in the exhibit to remind visitors to the state to declare or dump in the bins all fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, plant products, fish and fish products. The Animal and Plant Health Laboratories at New Town and Mt Pleasant will also have a presence in the DPIPWE tent. Services provided by the lab- oratories include seed testing and certification, veterinary pathology diagnostics for live stock and wildlife, veterinary microbiology diagnostics, and TASAG ELISA testing for plant pests in all areas of agriculture, horticulture and quarantine situations. Find out more by talking to one of the friendly staff. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program will also provide information on its Roadkill proj- ect. Tasmanian devils are the hardest of all native species to see between dusk and dawn. Find out how we can all help reduce the number of Tasman- ian devils dying on our roads. Any information you can pro- vide about road-killed Tasman- ian devils will help the program monitor the spread of devil facial tumour disease. For some farmers, wildlife impacts on farm productivity are another significant issue. There is no single solution to managing browsing wildlife. An integrated approach is necessary and DPIPWE's plan- ning toolkit is available to help you clarify the browsing wild- life issues on your farm. Find out about the different control options and develop strategies for effective manage- ment of browsing and grazing losses. Pick up the toolkit at Agfest and find out also about wallaby fencing that works. Can you afford not to fence? DPIPWE recognises that pro- 2012
April 19th 2012
May 3rd 2012