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Farmers fire up over ‘canola selfies’

South Australian grain farmers have appealed for people to stop jumping fences or driving onto their properties to take photographs of themselves amongst fields of bright yellow canola this spring.

Sep 21, 2023, updated Jan 31, 2024

Grain Producers SA that it has received reports “from across the state of illegal activity of trespassing by jumping fences and heading up driveways to take photos in canola crops and it’s just not on”.

“By all means, safely take a photo of the stunning canola crop from the roadside but let your mobile phone do the work through zooming rather than jumping the fence to get closer,” GPSA CEO Brad Perry said, adding that such incidents risked personal injury or a “biosecurity incident”.

“While the yellow of the canola in spring makes for a great photo opportunity, GPSA encourages you to take the snap outside the fence and not within the crop,” he said.

“Every year tourists get out and about in our regions to admire the sights and the flowering canola crops are part of that but by standing in the crop, people could be unknowingly spreading weed seeds and soil material that may contain a fungal disease.

“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility and by someone unsupervised entering a property to take a photo, they could be transferring pests, weeds or diseases from farm to farm. The last thing we want to see is a grain producers’ livelihood ruined or a member of the public injure or entangle themselves by climbing a fence for a photo opportunity.

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The Department of Primary Industries and Regions estimates that 266,100 hectares of canola has been planted in 2023/24, significantly above the five-year average of 222,100 hectares.

The Mid and Upper North and South East regions are the prime canola sites, according to PIRSA’s Crop and Pasture Report.

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