Feed mill biosecurity is an important building block for a complete biosecurity program. Feed mills can serve as a central hub for pathogens because of the various types of traffic entering the feed mill, ranging from contractors and ingredient trucks, to feed delivery trucks, and various forms of foot traffic. When creating biosecurity plans, most of the focus is placed on the receiving and load-out areas as they are the two major areas in which pathogens can enter a feed mill. Below are 5 additional areas to focus on when completing and strengthening a feed mill biosecurity program.
- Pigs should not be weighed on a feed mill’s scale. The biggest biosecurity risk to a feed mill is bringing live animals on site. Scales are used by receiving and feed delivery trucks which would enter the alleyways of the feed mill and could provide potential contamination to the receiving pit.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the disease status of the farms supplied out of the mill. If disease issues are not communicated back to the feed mill, trucks cannot be sequenced and washed as needed to ensure a truck is not touching a dirty site and then going to a clean one. A biosecurity pyramid can be created to help the feed mill manager and drivers understand how deliveries need to be sequenced and if a disinfecting wash should be completed.
- Communicate the importance of on-time feed ordering to farms to ensure feed delivery trucks are sequenced properly. If same day orders come in after deliveries have started for the day, it becomes very difficult for a mill to maintain the biosecurity pyramid for deliveries.
- Make sure pit covers are kept in place until the truck has crossed the pit. Removing the covers prior to the truck driving across the pit defeats the purpose of the cover and allows various forms of material to drop into the pit as the truck crosses the area. It is also important to not sweep foreign material into a receiving pit.
- Biosecurity is always changing and updates need to be made based on issues that arise at farms. As procedures are updated, employees should be trained to ensure they are familiar with and understand the established procedures. I also encourage you to look back at your biosecurity program to make sure all procedures are being completed and understood by each employee as we move into the major disease season for swine.
For further information about biosecurity plans, please feel free to contact Roger Cochrane.
Roger Cochrane, PhD, Director of Feed Mills