As the weather gets warmer and some restrictions ease, more people are starting to travel in Australia.
While we’re all now well-versed in keeping a certain virus under control, we’d like you to also give some thought to keeping Aussie watermelons safe from pests and disease as you chase the sun this Spring and Summer.
Travelling rural Australia can be great fun – and you’ll see all sorts of wonderful and unusual things – especially on Aussie melon farms!
Where are melons produced in Australia
The Australian melon industry extends across all states and territories of mainland Australia. The main regions of production are shown on the map below.
What we hope NOT to see is pest or disease that can significantly harm Aussie melon crops.
Ever see poles in melon paddocks with what look like flags on them?
They’re bug traps! And the help Aussie melon farmers know what pests are trying to get in to their crops. They’re an early warning system that hopefully only shows them bugs they’re used to seeing – not anything new or nasty.
Before you set off on your adventures, make sure to check out our new series of videos about how to make sure you don’t unwittingly take an unwanted visitor on to a melon farm while you’re travelling and get to know the signs of good biosecurity.
Three tips for travellers to melon growing regions
1. Read the signs
Always stop and think and look for biosecurity signs before entering a melon farm.
2. Be aware of farm boundaries – stay out of the paddock
As you travel around Australia, you may not know you’re passing a melon farm. Why? Well, there aren’t any fences!
But that doesn’t mean you’re welcome to walk on in. Always stop and think and look for biosecurity signs before entering a melon farm.
Melon growers don’t have fences around their melon paddocks because it means farmers can turn their tractors around with hitting a fence post, harvesters don’t get tangled in fence wire and no fences makes crop rotations to other parts of the farm easier. Plus there is no need for fences … melons are always where the farmers left them.
Find out more about why no fences are also part of Aussie melon growers’ biosecurity plans and how you can keep on the right side of ‘invisible’ fence here.
3. Don’t pick your own melons from the paddock
Whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure, hitting the open highway to discover Australia is a wonderful way to meet people. Someone you might meet is an Aussie melon farmer!
But – we’d rather you stopped at the local shop to pick up a watermelon or two, and not PIY (that’s pick it yourself ) if you’re passing a melon farm.
Check out our latest video on how you can help keep Aussie melons pest and disease free while you’re travelling around Australia.
4. If you have a legitimate reason for visiting the farm make sure to follow farm biosecurity and COVID-19 procedures
If you do need to enter a farm make sure you follow their biosecurity directives including completion of their sign in register and follow all state COVID procedures.
Thanks for helping keeping Australian melon farms free of unwanted pests and diseases.
Keep a Top Watch!
To report an emergency pest, weed or disease call the exotic plant pest hotline on 1800 084 881
or visit agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/australia/northern-biosecurity for more information
Biosecurity. It’s everyone’s business.