Earlier this month the latest strain of calicivirus was released in multiple locations across Australia, RHDV1 – K5. Rabbit Free Australia are calling for livestock producers to help in monitoring of the disease, by recording rabbit deaths in their areas and providing samples for analysis through the RabbitScan app, available from the PestSmart website.
Livestock SA and the SA Arid Lands NRM Board spoke to key stakeholders to discuss feral goat management issues across pastoral regions in late 2016. Feral goats can be a problem for pastoralists and the environment, and are a pest species declared for control under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 (NRM Act). In the Australian rangelands, the feral goat population has steadily increased and was estimated at 3.3 million in 2010. At the same time the value of Australian exports from goats has almost doubled over the past five years and was estimated to be $243 million in 2015.
Conflicting views on feral goats and their management can result in competing objectives amongst key stakeholders in South Australia’s rangelands. How to address the feral goat problem has been and continues to be a divisive issue, but is one that needs to be addressed.
The session format was interactive, with participants working together to map stakeholder positions on feral goats, and identify management objectives for feral goats and how these could be achieved. The deliberations will help to inform future policy directions for the effective management of feral goats on pastoral leases in SA.
The latest version of the popular Lifetime Ewe Management smartphone app was released recently. The original app had more than 1500 downloads, with feedback from users incorporated into the latest version. This includes cloud capability to aggregate farm information from multiple users, new pasture assessment data to match both perennial and annual based pastures from across Australia, location settings and a new feed on offer assessment tool.
A free application for both Apple and Android phones, the LTEM App is a digital extension of the popular Lifetime Ewe Management course offered through Rural Industries Skills Training. The course trains woolgrowers to maximise productivity by accurately measuring and managing the energy requirements and inputs of their ewe flock through the reproduction cycle.
So far LTEM has directly involved more than 3000 woolgrowers, more than 8 million ewes and has influenced more than 25% of the national flock.
The course was developed by RIST from the Australian Wool Innovation Lifetime Wool research project and as the major funder of the research and extension; AWI has contributed more than $12 million to LTEM and the Lifetime Wool project over the past 14 years.
Three past WoolTag recipients flew out to New Zealand recently as part of an AWI, Heiniger and Prime Super sponsored trip. Pictured are Dale Murphy, Heiniger; shearer Brandon Waters; Glenn Haynes, TafeSA, woolhandler Laura Erickson, shearer Dane Fredrickson and Chris Pole, Prime Super. Absent: Jim Murray, AWI.
Past WoolTAG recipient Tom Brewer, Naracoorte, starred at the recent world shearing championships at Invercargill, New Zealand, placing fifth in the final of the intermediate section. Tom completed his TafeSA Certificate II in shearing in 2014 – receiving $500 of shearing equipment to help him enter the workforce, thanks to the WoolTAG initiative. He completed his Certificate III in shearing in 2015.
Other recent WoolTAG recipients include shearers Brandon Waters, Warramboo, and Dane Frederickson, Tumby Bay, and woolhandler Laura Erickson, via Tailem Bend. They also flew to NZ in February as part of a sponsorship through Australian Wool Innovation, Heiniger, and Prime Super for them to compete in The Golden Shears at Masterton, and train alongside NZ shearers and woolhandlers.
WoolTAG stands for the Wool Training Advisory Group, launched in 2003. It comprises members from all sections of the wool industry who generously give their time to advance the wool harvesting industry. WoolTAG recognises the importance of the wool industry to the South Australian agricultural industry.
The group believes it is important to encourage new entrants into what is a rewarding career path. It provides assistance to graduated shearers and woolhandlers to buy tools that will help them to start their career and remain in the industry. At the 2016 Royal Adelaide Show, 20 young shearers and 20 wool handlers who had recently received their Certificate II at TafeSA were gifted a $500 toolbox voucher for shearers and $200 for wool handlers.
Since being launched in July last year, the Australian Industry Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Goats have been assisting goat producers across the country improve their welfare practices and now those same producers are encouraging everyone in the industry to grab a copy.
Much of the Eastern side of the country has been suffering through a heatwave over the last week, but in Western Australia much of the state has been declared a natural disaster zone after heavy rains.
Livestock SA is concerned that the original Eyre Peninsula Water Demand and Supply Statement released in 2011 and its subsequent annual reviews make little mention of livestock. In developing a new statement, Livestock SA believes the importance of the industry to the area and its potential for future growth needs to be considered in more depth.
A list of public holidays for South Australia in 2017.
The Australian sheepmeat industry has gone from strength to strength in 2016.
With school holidays starting, SafeWork SA is reminding people about the risks of quad bike use, especially by children.