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    Victorian grains industry biosecurity officer Jim Moran.

AgLife: Interstate grain, hay, must pass laws

By Jim Moran

Agriculture Victoria

Livestock producers are reminded they must adhere to biosecurity laws when importing grain and fodder from interstate. 

Varying weather conditions since late 2023 are likely to have impacted the quality and quantity of available local fodder across much of eastern Australia, resulting in livestock producers sourcing interstate fodder to meet ongoing feed demand. 

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Fodder movement laws are in place to prevent the spread of weeds, pests and diseases beyond known infestations and onto your paddocks. 

To mitigate these threats, Agriculture Victoria administers legislation Plant Biosecurity Act 2010, aimed at preventing the introduction, establishment and spread of biosecurity threats. 

This legislation describes restrictions on the entry into Victoria of material, which is a host of a specified pest or disease.

There are penalties for non-compliance with the Plant Biosecurity Act, check all the biosecurity requirements that apply to the importation of grain, fodder and other livestock feed products in the Victorian Plant Quarantine Manual, PQM. 

More information can be found via

In some cases, the consignment will need to travel with a Plant Health Certificate, PHC, issued by biosecurity officers in the source state. 

The certificate assures Victoria the prescribed conditions for entry, including sampling, testing, inspection  and other analyses, have been conducted and the consignment is free from risky pests and diseases. 

If inspections and certification are required, there will be additional costs beyond the quoted price for the product. 

An example – cereal grain and hay for feeding livestock 

The entry or importation of cereal grain – wheat, barley and oats – and lucerne, pasture and cereal hay into Victoria for livestock feed is prohibited unless it meets Condition 20A of the Victorian PQM. 

The condition states: 

• It must originate from a state or territory free from Annual Ryegrass Toxicity, ARGT, including Queensland, Northern Territory and Tasmania, where the respective State Government has issued an area freedom certificate for ARGT. 

• If it comes from New South Wales, Western Australia or South Australia, it will need to travel with a Plant Health Certificate, PHC, issued by biosecurity officers in that state. This assures Victoria the consignment is free from ryegrass containing the bacterium that causes ARGT. 

• If grown or packed on a property within 25 kilometres of a green snail infestation, it is prohibited under Condition 23D in the Victorian PQM. A PHC or Plant Health Assurance Certificate, PHAC, must accompany the consignment to certify compliance with this entry condition. 

The entry or importation of grain legumes – chickpeas, faba beans, field peas, lentils and lupins – from any state, into Victoria for stock feed only, is allowed without restrictions. 

Related matters 

It is important to note importing seed into Victoria for planting involves further and different quarantine conditions to be met and might well be prohibited, depending on the origin state and species of plant. 

The Catchment and Land Protection Act states you cannot bring noxious weeds into Victoria and that anything contaminated with noxious weeds are prohibited. 

Information about weeds that should be vigilantly monitored for can be found via

Be rigorous with your interrogation about the quality, integrity, providence and composition of the feed you are buying and importing. 

You do not want to import new problems such as noxious and problematic invasive weeds.

If possible, feed your livestock only in designated quarantine paddocks, where any potential issues can be contained and are easier to look for. 

Thereafter, be on the lookout for anything new or suspicious that germinates in your paddock and have it identified and eradicated quickly. 

Practical and inexpensive farm biosecurity tactics are found at

For more information on the biosecurity entry conditions, when importing feed for your livestock from interstate, and for any other biosecurity query, contact Agriculture Victoria to speak to a biosecurity officer on 136 186.

Grain machinery

Importing second-hand farm machinery such as tractors, seeders, sprayers, harvesters, baling or storage equipment from interstate can provide an alternative to buying brand new. 

However, there are a few matters to consider before you buy. 

Besides the costs of the machine and its transport, there are other costs involved in ensuring the machine meets Victorian biosecurity legislation, Plant Biosecurity Act 2010, and the conditions of entry described in the Victorian Plant Biosecurity Manual, which can be found at

Used agricultural equipment and spare parts could pose a high risk to Victoria’s unique environment and agricultural industries. 

Given the nature of their work, there is a high possibility used machinery could harbor weeds, pests and diseases that we do not want in Victoria. 

Therefore, unless they meet specific conditions of entry outlined in the Plant Quarantine Manual, PQM, they are prohibited from entry.

The entire April 24, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire April, 24, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!