AgForce has given a lukewarm reception to a new Farm Check-In app, noting that members living in areas with poor mobile reception may have problems using it (Photo: DAF)

August 3, 2021

A new on-farm biosecurity check-in system designed to protect Queensland farms from the spread of plant and animal pests and diseases may not be as effective as initially hoped.

AgForce says landowners with frequent, trusted farm visitors may benefit from the system.

But it is urging members to trial it first because poor or non-existent mobile phone connectivity in rural areas can prevent the app from working.

Farm Check-In was developed by Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) using a $397,000 grant from the Federal Government.

It can be used with an online form, or an app and QR code.

By scanning a QR code at the farm gate, visitors access an online checklist to help them understand their general biosecurity obligation and any potential risks.

Anyone with a BQ management plan can insist on the use of the Farm Check-In app or form by visitors as a legal condition of entry to their property.

However, depending on local biosecurity weed and disease risks in their area, further information may be required from farm visitors such as their previous locations and visual evidence of clean machinery and vehicles.

Farmers who would like trial Farm Check-In can download a farm gate sign template with the QR code.

Details of each farm visit logged by the Farm Check-In system are emailed direct to the property manager and a copy can be retained by the farm visitor.

But the system only works where there is mobile phone connectivity.

“Unfortunately there is still a long way to go when it comes to improving telecommunications services in the bush,” Agforce noted.

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