Grain farmers and transporters have been warned again on the biosecurity risks of allowing grain to spill on the sides of roads.
It is also illegal.
Agriculture Victoria grains biosecurity officer Jim Moran said spilt grain provides an untreated, unmonitored, unmanaged and very attractive site for stored grain insects and disease pests to thrive.
He said those pests can spread into neighbouring paddocks and farms, creating a significant biosecurity risk.
"Dumped grain can be a food source for birds and vermin such as mice and wild pigs which build in number and infest and damage nearby crops and grain storages," Mr Moran said,
"Vermin can also carry seed to other areas where it becomes a weed or vector for pests and diseases.
"As the grain germinates it provides an ideal green bridge for the early build-up of fungal diseases such as rusts, which cause substantial yield loss to grain growers.
"These illegal grain dumps are often found along transport corridors to and from ports.
"They provide an ideal pathway for hitch hiker pests to make their way from an urban port to a farm, where they can become established in the grain production system."
Authorities say they are away some of the grain is not accidentally but deliberately tipped out to allow trucks to meet weight limits.
"Some transporters are concerned about having excess weight and compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law, which is considered a breach of their chain of responsibility," Mr Moran said.
Grain is also dumped in smaller quantities at roadsides by drivers who have delivered to sea ports or other grain receival sites and are unable to find facilities to sweep out trucks and trailers.
Cleaning the truck out is a requirement under the Transport Code of Practice before they can backload with fertiliser or other commodities from a different facility.
Mr Moran said he urged people to undertake some simple actions and reduce the risks of grain being dumped on the roadside.
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"To avoid overloading a more accurate measure of weight is required.
"This could include installing a permanent or temporary on-farm weighbridge, gaining access to a nearby off-site weighbridge, using an on-board, over the axles or suspension-mounted vehicle scale, or simple visual methods proven to reduce overloading."
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) states; under COR, complying with transport law is a shared responsibility and all parties in the road transport supply chain are responsible for preventing breaches. That means anybody, not just the driver.
Ensuring trucks come clean and go clean is also vital.
"While this is an ongoing matter between the grains industry and receival sites, if there is grain left over that needs to be disposed of, do so safely," Mr Moran said.
"It can be burned, buried or bagged and reused, perhaps as livestock feed if it is uncontaminated."
Mr Moran said there should be no residual grain left in the trailer that needs to be dumped prior to picking up a new delivery.
"Growers should also have a designated clean-down area which can be monitored regularly for volunteer plants, weeds or pests."
"If you witness roadside grain dumping, you should report it to the Environment Protection Authority using their reporting App.
More information on the Grain Trade Australia Code of Practice can be found at graintrade.org.au/grain-industry-codes
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