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Farmers posted a new selfie trend on Instagram

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Farmers in Victoria and New South Wales are increasingly concerned about tourists invading their canola fields to snap the perfect Instagram photo.​​

Country towns have been bombarded by tourists hoping to snap a picture on social media basking in golden canola fields full of flowers.

In the spring, people flock to Cowra, Temora and Coolamon in New South Wales and similar fields in Victoria in search of the perfect Instagram photo.

It has become so popular that even the NSW government is encouraging the trend through a targeted advertising campaign which encourages people to “take a snapshot of a canola field.”

Instagram posts about Australia's bountiful canola fields have never been more popular.  Photo: Instagram
Instagram posts about Australia’s bountiful canola fields have never been more popular. Photo: Instagram

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But some farmers are frustrated by the blatant way in which tourists are invading their land, and say it could pose a risk of livestock diseases spreading in the future.

“There’s a real fear about foot-and-mouth disease and what kind of quarantine people have been through and where they’ve come from,” said Tony Flannery, a Halong wheat and canola farmer.

“That’s something that poses a very real danger to us in particular,” Flannery said.

He reportedly once found a pair “literally two kilometers” from the road in his paddock.

Farmers are concerned not only with the frequency of trespassers on their farms during the canola season, but also the biosecurity risks they can create.  Photo: Instagram
Farmers are concerned not only with the frequency of trespassers on their farms during the canola season, but also the biosecurity risks they can create. Photo: Instagram

“They basically refused to leave. As if they put the camera on a tripod and were going to get a job for half a day.”

Another farmer said: “It’s the equivalent of someone popping into your yard in Sydney to take a picture with your flowers. This is my yard – leave.”

Encouraging people to use the hashtags #lovensw and #newssouthwales, the NSW Government said the Riverina region makes for “perfect Instagram photos”.

“The state’s main canola production centers are approximately 4.5 hours’ drive west of Sydney, with hectare upon hectare of glistening golden fields,” the website says.

One canola farmer in New South Wales likened walking through his canola paddocks to walking down a roadside in Sydney to take a photo in a suburban garden.
One canola farmer in New South Wales likened walking through his canola paddocks to walking down a roadside in Sydney to take a photo in a suburban garden.

However, in Western Australia, the trend has prompted a warning from state authorities.

Geoff Russell, from WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, said there were cases of cars ending up in swamps and damaging crops in the state’s greater southern region.

“If you were in a small town or city, you wouldn’t want people driving through your yard. It’s farmland, you’re driving through a farmer’s yard,” Mr Russell told the media.

Melbourne

Hugo Timms is a Leader local news reporter covering the courts, local government, development and crime.

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https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/new-south-wales-farmers-blast-new-instagram-trend/news-story/daf8cd5fb2b6109cf01dbf14cad24022

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