Time to get out and clean up the farm

17th Aug 2021

 Local Land Services (LLS) 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 reduce the risks for livestock to chemical residues from items such as old batteries. 
LLS Agriculture and Plant Biosecurity Business Partner, Andrew Lieschke said a yearly farm clean up in winter was a good idea. 
“Farming is busy all year round, but if you can get in and clean up in winter, it should make life easier when you’re flat out with sowing or harvesting or shearing,” Mr Lieschke 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. 
“With mice numbers expected to increase across large parts of the state as we head into spring, one of the best management tips is to minimise feed sources and shelter, which can be as simple as cleaning up residual grain or cleaning out sheds and silos.” 
Mr Lieschke said cleaning up old lead batteries and building materials was also important to reduce any potential animal health risks. 
“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,” Mr Lieschke said.
“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. 
Other old chemical drums should also be cleaned and taken to their local drumMUSTER collection site which can be found on the drumMUSTER website www.drummuster.org.au/find-a-collection-site.  
“It is also a good time to register your ag and vet chemicals with ChemClear (www.chemclear.org.au) to receive storage stickers for chemicals and receive alerts when there are chemical collections happening in the area,” Mr Lieschke said.