USDA releases farm biosecurity guide

first_imgJul 12, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a guide to helps farmers protect crops and animals from security threats. In drafting the security guidelines, the USDA received input from producers throughout the country. The 20-page document covers general agriculture, dairy, crops, cattle, and poultry. The guide, titled “Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and Checklist 2006,” offers voluntary, practical measures to help farmers protect crops and animals from natural disasters and naturally or intentionally introduced pathogens. USDA’s pre-harvest security guidelines and checklist One recommendation that would cover almost any type of farm is to develop and update a risk management plan and share it with employees, family, and local law enforcement. A more specific recommendation for crop farmers is to maintain an updated inventory of anhydrous ammonia, ammonium nitrate, bulk urea, pesticides, and other hazardous materials and to investigate any discrepancies. The guide is available at the USDA’s local Farm Service Agency centers and online. It is the latest in a series of USDA publications to address biosecurity; the agency has previously published guidelines for food processors and distributors and for those involved in agricultural transportation. CFIA checklist for preventing avian influenza on farmscenter_img See also: Jul 12 USDA news release on farm security guidelines Meanwhile, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) today released on its Web site a checklist of precautions for preventing avian influenza on poultry farms. The checklist includes tips such as maintaining a visitor log, requiring visitors to wash their hands before entering a poultry house, following a strict schedule when caring for the flock (such as working from youngest to oldest), and draining ponds near poultry houses. In a press release today, the USDA said improving food-producer awareness about biosafety issues is central to its homeland security efforts. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner commented, “While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to protecting agriculture, recommendations in this guide can be beneficial to a variety of types and sizes of agricultural operations.” read more

Brisbane home prices at record high, gains to continue in 2020

first_imgThe suburbs of Paddington and Petrie Terrace are seen with the Brisbane CBD skyline in the background. Image: AAP/Darren England.BRISBANE home values are at a new record high and continuing to climb, while price growth is starting to slow in Sydney and Melbourne, new figures reveal.CoreLogic’s national home value index rose 0.9 per cent in January, taking the annual growth rate to 4.1 per cent — the fastest in a twelve month period since December 2017.Ahead of the Reserve Bank’s interest rate decision on Tuesday, the index shows home values increased across every capital city and region, apart from regional South Australia, where values held steady in the first month of the year. CoreLogic’s home value index for January, 2020. Source: CoreLogic.Brisbane prices rose 0.5 per cent in January to a median value of $499,691, down slightly from the 0.7 per cent climb the previous month, but up 2 per cent for the December quarter. House prices gained 0.7 per cent in January, but unit prices dropped 0.6 per cent.Home values also rose 0.8 per cent in regional Queensland, although parts of the state’s outback regions continue to be weak due to persistent drought and poor economic conditions. Brisbane home values rose 0.5 per cent in January, according to CoreLogic. Image: AAP/Darren England.CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said the index showed “the value of dwellings collectively across the Brisbane market is sitting at a record high”.Ms Owen said the city’s relative affordability and surrounding lifestyle benefits should drive further demand from buyers over 2020.“We have also seen a spillover in demand (for Brisbane) from expensive capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne,” Ms Owen said.“What we’re seeing in Sydney and Melbourne is prices going up, but the growth rate softening because of affordability challenges and more stock.” Apartment buildings are seen in the Brisbane suburb of South Brisbane. Image: AAP/Darren England.Ms Owen said the outlook for the Queensland economy, which had often held back the housing market, was looking positive.“There are actually some pretty promising things happening for the Queensland employment market,” she said.“Over 2019, we saw a significant rise in the number of people employed in scientific, technical and professional services — typically high income employment services that could drive demand in the Brisbane market. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoBrisbane’s relative affordability compared to Sydney and Melbourne is driving demand for housing. Photo: Brett Wortman.“We’ve also seen an uplift in rental prices across Brisbane; up 1.6 per cent over the end of January.“With mortgage rates at near record lows, this could attract more investors to the market as well.”CoreLogic Asia Pacific director of research Tim Lawless said housing affordability was worsening, particularly in the capital cities.“Smaller cities, including key affordable regional markets where economic and demographic trends are healthy may offer some insulation from these affordability constraints,” Mr Lawless said. The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to leave the official cash rate on hold at its February meeting. Image: AAP/Dan Himbrechts.“Looking ahead, interest rates are expected to see further reductions, which, along with consistently strong population growth, is likely to continue to support housing demand.”ANZ has raised its growth expectations for house prices, with the bank now expecting an 8 per cent rise nationally this year — up from 6 per cent.Almost 90 per cent of experts surveyed by comparison website Finder expect the official cash rate to remain on hold on Tuesday, but nearly 80 per cent are tipping an interest rate cut by May.last_img read more

Auckland council flooded by anti-pokie submissions

first_imgAucklander 28 Feb 2013The ‘No More Pokies’ community coalition will be delivering thousands of written submissions to Auckland Council today at 1.30pm.The Class 4 Gambling (Pokie) Venue Policy is being developed for Auckland Council to replace the policies of the seven legacy Territorial Local Authorities.Tony Milne, National Manager of Public Health at the Problem Gambling Foundation, says in just six weeks the community coalition has collected more than 7000 submissions in favour of a ‘sinking lid’ on pokies for Auckland.“This is the largest number of submissions ever submitted in favour of a “sinking lid” on pokies,” he says.“The thousands of submissions send a powerful message to the Auckland Council that 4,059 pokie machines in pubs and clubs and 1647 in SkyCity Casino is more than enough for Auckland and Aucklanders don’t want any more.”The ‘No More Pokies Auckland’ campaign, endorsed by more than 20 organisations, was launched on 18 January with the aim to encourage people to ‘say no to more pokies’ and ‘choose a sinking lid’ while Auckland Council consults on its gambling venue policy. read more