Managing feed and fodder risks

Weather conditions in NSW can mean that more feed and fodder is entering the state from across Australia. When bringing feed and fodder onto your property, you are exposed to pests, diseases and weeds found in other parts of Australia that you do not currently have.

You need to know where your feed and fodder has come from and what it is made up of so that you can manage any of these potential biosecurity risks.

If you are receiving donated feed or fodder you can take the following steps.

What to do before you order or accept feed and fodder

  • Know the source. Ask where the fodder has come from and what it is made up of
  • Check it is allowed into NSW and the risks you may be exposed to. Some fodder movements are restricted to protect the biosecurity of our land, water, food and fibre production. Check whether the fodder you are receiving is legal and whether certification is needed by visiting the DPI website
  • You should reject any fodder or feed that doesn’t meet NSW requirements
  • Be aware of the requirements for importing from Queensland. You may bring in hay from Queensland if it comes from outside the fire ant biosecurity zones, and it comes with a vendor declaration. If it comes from the fire ant known infested area, it will need a Plant Health Certificate.

When you receive and accept feed and fodder

  • Keep a record of where you received fodder from and what it is made up of to help you trace any problems later
  • Check it carefully by looking it over. While some weeds, diseases and pests are hard to spot, others may be more obvious
  • If you see insects, snails, the consignment smells, the colour is not right, or there are other strange signs contact your Local Land Services office for advice.

When feeding

  • Reduce risks by restricting feed-out areas to one or two “sacrificial paddocks” in places you can check in the weeks and months after each rain event for up to two years. Flat, accessible areas away from cropping paddocks and farm dam catchments are best
  • Keep detailed livestock feeding records by paddock and mob so if a problem presents, you can track, trace and contain it.

After feeding and when it rains

  • Keep an eye open for weeds and any new or unusual plants in feed-out areas, and areas on the banks of and around waterways for two years after the emergency event
  • Call your local council weeds officer to have them identified as soon as possible
  • Control weeds as soon as you find them, before they can set seed. The NSW WeedWise website and app are free and can help you with individual weed profiles and herbicides registered for control
  • Keep a close watch for any new or unknown plants, pests and diseases. Don’t hesitate to call for assistance. Contact Local Land Services, your local agronomist or your local council weeds officer for advice and assistance with identifying and managing potential biosecurity risks.

NSW feed and fodder laws and standards

In NSW, manufactured stock feeds must adhere to strict labelling standards. This helps you to make informed decisions about your feed. You can learn more about what you should expect in relation to labelling of manufactured stock feeds by visiting the DPI website.

Remember, it is illegal to feed ruminants (including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids and deer) meat or blood products from any vertebrate animal or bird including meat meal, meat and bone meal, bone flour, poultry meal, fish meal, and also feather meal or any part of an animal. It is also illegal to feed ruminants feed that has come into contact with these products. This reduces the risk of disease spread in animals.

More information on managing biosecurity risks with feed and fodder

This Managing feed and fodder risks factsheet was written for drought but is also relevant for flood and fire.

Related information