This Foundation-funded project delivered Masterclasses to Australian strawberry growers to increase their awareness and adoption of farm biosecurity practices. Growers considered most of the farm biosecurity practices discussed as ‘easy’ to adopt, particularly those that were not costly or time consuming to implement.
75% of participants adopted one or more of the biosecurity practices on their farms within a month of the Masterclass. Many growers reported that they educated their staff about farm biosecurity.
Growers urgently need a manual to better educate their staff and visitors about farm biosecurity.
Overwhelmingly, growers think their biosecurity efforts are wasted due to the unwillingness of utility and labour providers to follow their protocols on strawberry farms, a situation common in other sectors.
As a result of this project, industry has funded work (approved for 2020) to determine the wider adoption of biosecurity practices and to survey crops for soil-borne diseases on every strawberry farm in Victoria.
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