Grains sector in Australia highlights fire ant concerns
Grains, Cereal & Legumes
Sustainability & Environmental Impact
Market & Price Trends
Published Dec 8, 2023
The grains industry is concerned about the spread of fire ants in Australia, particularly in areas where most of the grain is grown. Fire ants not only pose a threat to humans with their sting, but they also harm eco-systems and can reduce agricultural output. The industry is calling for a reset of Australia's biosecurity system to better address modern threats like fire ants and other pests.
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The grains industry has voiced its increasing unease about the current fire ant incursion, saying it highlighted the need for a reset of Australia's biosecurity system. Earlier this year fire ants, an invasive species native to South America, were found on the western side of the Great Dividing Range for the first time, with a positive identification near Toowoomba, on the Darling Downs. Most of eastern Australia's grain is grown to the west and north of the Great Divide. In its submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport inquiry into the spread of fire ants, GrainGrowers said the threat was a significant concern for the grains sector. As well as their notorious sting, which can cause significant harm to humans, fire ants decimate eco-systems, which can in turn harm grain crops. The GrainGrowers submission cited an Invasive Species Council (ISC) finding demonstrating the hefty impact the ants have had overseas. The ISC report found that ...