Biosecurity/Agroterrorism: Voluntary USDA Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and Checklist for Growers

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Biosecurity/Agroterrorism: Voluntary USDA Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and Checklist 2006

Food and agriculture is one of the 17 critical infrastructures in the US identified by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for scrutiny and plant production is identified as a subcouncil in this sector. Since 9/11/2001, there has been an increased awareness of the vulnerability of the food and agriculture sector to acts of terrorism. The protection and integrity of American agriculture production are essential to the health and welfare of the domestic population.

Farm security presents unique challenges for producers. However, there are some basic measures that can be instituted at the farm level to secure producers’ farmsteads. To help the agricultural producer reduce security risks at the farm, USDA has developed some voluntary guidelines and checklist that provides a pre-harvest security resource (Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and Checklist). Due to the unique nature of different agricultural production operations, not all recommendations are appropriate for all operations. Cotton producers should review the guidelines and checklist to determine which recommendations are most appropriate for their operation.

Additional information, including examples of security plans, is available via the Internet links listed in the “Farm Security Resources and Reference” section at the end of the USDA guide. Also studies (tabletop exercises) to develop additional useful information are underway. USDA News Release No. 0245.06 contains additional information about Biosecurity/Agroterrorism.


This webpage is for informational purposes only. It is intended to provide information cotton producers should consider when developing security plans. This webpage does not purport to be the correct or the only way to implement Biosecurity/Agroterrorism plans. Each farming unit including its operating procedures is unique in many respects. Therefore, before finalizing security plans, cotton producers should seek the advice of counsel or other experienced professionals.

Citations or references to web sites and organizations found from links on this page shall not be construed as endorsements of those organizations policies or programs by the National Cotton Council.

Phil Wakelyn
Angus Kelly
Dale Thompson

07Biosecurity farms pre-harvest guide