Organic and bio-dynamic producers

You can maintain your organic status whilst protecting your property and Australia from one of the world’s most invasive pests.

Row of organic produce on a farm, outdoor blue sky sunny day.

We need everyone to join the fight against fire ants and work with us as we conduct eradication activities.

We must access 100% of all targeted properties, including those run by organic and bio-dynamic producers, for the purpose of treating or containing fire ants.

On this page, you’ll learn:

What this means for organic and bio-dynamic producers

We have worked with the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to reduce production impacts for organic operators in our fire ant treatment areas.

The waiting period for re-entry for organic and bio-dynamic products treated using products containing an insect growth regulator is now 3 weeks. This was previously 12 months.

New fire ant organic notice

Revised Fire Ant Organic Notice on Laptop

The 2022–02: Revised Fire Ants Organic Notice outlines the importance of treating for fire ants on properties that produce certified organic or bio-dynamic products.

Reduced production impacts for organic operators in eradication treatment areas are conditional on producers:

  • allowing our field officers to apply fire ant treatment
  • not selling produce or livestock as organic or bio-dynamic if it has had direct contact with treatment
  • waiting 3 weeks before sowing, planting or returning livestock to areas treated for fire ants
  • notifying their certifying body before fire ant treatment is conducted and within 2 business days of receiving the ‘notice to treat’
  • completing a documented organic system plan to manage the treated area and any impacts to certification status. Please refer to the notice for detailed information.

Failure to comply with the revised organic notice may result in you losing your organic status for an extended period of time.

What to expect if you’re an organic or bio-dynamic producer in the fire ant treatment area

Conducting eradication activities on all targeted properties, whether fire ants are visible or not, is vital to the success of national fire ant eradication efforts.

Our officers will contact you or visit your property to discuss treatment options. They will work with you to schedule treatment dates that best suit the production cycle on your property. We aim to apply fire ant treatment after your crops have been harvested, or for properties containing livestock, when paddocks are on rotation.

To help us prepare for treatment of your property and ensure the safety of our field officers we ask you to complete a property information form. The form will ask you about the animals you keep on the property and any access restrictions, such as locked gates.

Treating all properties in the same area at a similar time is key to fire ant eradication. Missing properties or treating them in a non-systematic way increases the risk of missing nests and jeopardises national eradication efforts.

What to expect if fire ants are found on your property

If fire ants are found on your property we may need to use a range of treatment products and methods. This will ensure all nests are quickly destroyed, reducing the risk of fire ants spreading through natural or human-assisted means.

In this situation, we will work with you to ensure the treatment has the smallest impact on your production and your organic certification.