August is on-farm clean up month

Central West Local Land Services is advising landholders August is the perfect time to get in and clean up on-farm ahead of an expected busy Spring.

Cleaning up will help reduce the potential impact of pests by reducing their possible breeding and nesting locations as well as eliminating the risks to livestock of chemical residues from things like old batteries.

Central West Local Land Services Cropping Advisor Tim Bartimote said a yearly farm clean up in winter was a good idea.

“Obviously farming is busy all year round however if you can get in and clean up in winter it should make life easier when you’re flat out with sowing or harvest or shearing,” Mr Bartimote said.

“You could target one area a week, maybe the shed first, silos next and then around the house yard to reduce the job into more manageable tasks.

“One of the key recommendations from the GRDC in relation to mice management is to minimise the sources of feed and shelter – which might mean cleaning up residual grain or cleaning out sheds and silos.”

Cleaning up old lead batteries was also important to reduce any potential animal health risks, he advised.

“Battery cases become brittle with time and cattle with their generally inquisitive nature, especially younger cattle, can easily disturb an old battery to access the lead that they contain.

“They develop a taste for the salts in the lead and can go back repeatedly to lick and chew at the source."

Other than batteries, sources of lead that may be readily found on farms include lead-based paint on farm buildings or other structures, ash from fires left after burning these products, automotive grease, oil filters, sump oil and linoleum.

It is important to remember that these lead products also pose a risk to people, especially young children whose growth and development can be affected by exposure.

Other old chemical drums should also be cleaned and taken to their local drumMUSTER collection site which can be found on the drumMUSTER website .

“It is also a good time to register your ag and vet chemicals with ChemClear to receive storage stickers for chemicals and receive alerts when there are chemical collections happening in the area.”

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