Agriculture Victoria is on the lookout for more silos to join the fight against exotic pests and participate in a monitoring program and further inform early detection measures.
Currently eight silo locations are being monitored as part of the program, with pheromone traps installed to attract pests, and the department is looking for a further seven silos.
Agriculture Victoria grains biosecurity officer Jim Moran introduced the surveillance program 12 months ago, under the Sentinel Silo Program, and said each silo would be consistently monitored.
‘‘Each location has two or three pheromone traps which have been monitored every six weeks for nearly 12 months,’’ Mr Moran said.
‘‘One of the target pests is the exotic khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium), which ranks as one of the top 10 priority pests for Victorian plant industries.
‘‘Khapra beetles feed on dried plant and animal products with a preference for grain and stored products.’’
The pheromone traps are designed to attract the beetles, which will then be examined by the Centre of AgriBioscience.
Mixed farms that have a grain storage bin, bunker or silo are likely to be ideal candidates for the program, including livestock producers, mixed grain and livestock farmers, intensive chicken producers and duck or pig farmers.
‘‘With the bumper harvest and increased storage this season, our ability to detect this pest early is vital,’’ Mr Moran said.
For more information, phone Jim Moran at Agriculture Victoria on 54304479.