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Keep It Clean This Moving Day.

Dairy shed wash down
Image/Supplied


Key points

  • Last year, 78,300 dairy cattle, dairy farming families and large amounts of equipment moved in the Bay of Plenty during the ‘Moving day’ period of May – July.
  • Good on-farm biosecurity is critical to not spreading pest plants such as Noogoora bur and Alligator weed, which pose a significant risk to the Bay of Plenty’s agricultural and arable cropping industries.
  • With one cow producing around 52 litres of effluent daily and a truck tank holding only 200 litres, proper preparation is crucial to prevent road spills entering our waterways.

As Moving Day approaches this Saturday (June 1), it's a busy time for the dairy farming community.

The first day of winter marks the official date when an estimated 5,000 dairy farming families around the country move to new farms to take up new sharemilking contracts.

With so many people, farm equipment and animals on the move, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Biosecurity Officer Nicky Oliver-Smith says good biosecurity measures are a must to minimise the risk of spreading pest weeds.

“Moving Day is a massive undertaking. For those relocating, we know a huge amount of planning goes into the shift and good biosecurity and effluent management practices are key part of getting it right. Proper machinery hygiene is essential any time equipment is moved, but it's even more vital during the Moving Day period.

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"Unclean machinery can easily spread pests. All it takes is one seed or small fragment of a weed hitching a ride on contaminated equipment, to create a whole new infestation.

“Farmers and contractors play a key role in preventing the spread of pest weeds. Alligator weed and Noogoora bur are two of the most concerning agricultural pest plants in the region as they can grow quickly, impact the sale value of crops and are toxic to stock if eaten.”

We're also reminding farmers about the importance of managing livestock effluent responsibly. Given a cow produces approximately 52 litres of effluent daily, while a truck tank holds just 200 litres, preventing road spills requires careful management.

Key tips for managing effluent and biosecurity risks this Moving Day:

  • Inspect machinery: Check all equipment for organic matter to prevent spreading seeds, roots, or fragments.
  • Thorough clean: Clean all parts of machinery, including tyres, tracks, undersides, grills, and filters, before moving.
  • Wash down: Ideally, wash machinery on the property before relocating to contain potential issues.
  • Effluent management: Stand livestock off green feed for at least four hours before transport to reduce effluent production and prevent road spills.
  • Prepare for transport: Schedule stock pick-up times in advance, move stock near loading ramps the day before, and provide dry feed before transport.

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