Biosecurity in the Cotton Industry


“Biosecurity” is about protecting farms, the environment, the economy and people’s health from pests and diseases. It includes trying to prevent new pests, diseases and weeds from arriving, and helping to control outbreaks when they occur.

Farm Biosecurity sign

Cotton Australia holds the official role for biosecurity stewardship in the Australian cotton industry, and works with the Australian government to manage this national priority through its membership of Plant Health Australia.


This work includes:

  • policy development and implementation
  • prioritisation of resources
  • decision making
  • overseeing the Cotton Industry Biosecurity Plan
  • helping to manage incursions that affect cotton

How cotton farmers ensure biosecurity

  • Biosecurity is the management of risks to the environment and community, of pests and diseases entering, emerging, establishing or spreading.
  • Farm biosecurity is a set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of pests, diseases and weeds. Farm biosecurity is the farm owners responsibility, and that of every person visiting or working on your property.
  • Cotton farmers and agronomists use the Cotton Farm Biosecurity Manual and also get more information from
  • If a new pest or disease becomes established on your farm, it will affect your business through increased costs (for monitoring, production practices, additional chemical use and labour), reduced productivity (in yield and/or quality. Early detection and immediate reporting of a pest or disease increases the chance of effective and efficient eradication.
  • The latest method of reducing contamination risks from weeds, pests and diseases is called: Come clean go clean. This involves washing down vehicles, boots and farm equipment which may come in contact or near the cotton crops.
  • For more details on the come clean go clean program follow the following link:

Biosecurity PowerPoint


Pest control in cotton PowerPoint


Weed control in cotton PowerPoint


Disease control in cotton PowerPoint


Biosecurity- a shared responsibility

Biosecurity should be the shared responsibility of all people including the Government, industry, farmers and the general community of Australia. We all need to work together to protect the animals and crops on farms, the environment and community from the negative impacts of animal and plant pests, diseases and weeds for the benefit of all Australians and our economy.

The NSW biosecurity strategy explains how government, industry and the community should work together to identify, minimise, respond to and manage any biosecurity risks.

To reduce biosecurity risks in Australia we need to:-

  • publicise clear guidelines about everyone’s responsibility in regards to biosecurity on farms and in the community, as well as building support for an integrated biosecurity approach
  • build capacity to respond, manage and control biosecurity threats according to state and national regulations
  • provide guidance and opportunity for all stakeholders to work together, and make the best use of the knowledge and expertise available across all groups
  • provide guidance for making priorities, decision‑making and taking actions and
  • provide further biosecurity research.


To control infestations of pests, weeds and diseases coming into Australia we also need to protect our borders by implementing quarantine and border security measures

Predictions of future population sizes indicate that global food production will need to double by 2050 to meet expected demand. This is another reason why it is important we do everything we can to protect our food production capacity from pests, diseases and weeds that negatively affect productivity levels.

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