What a year 2020 has been!
Highly anticipated heavy rainfall has provided some relief from the dry conditions in many regions of the state this past month.
Livestock SA is using the learnings from the 2019-20 bushfires to ensure future responses to natural disasters offer similar relief for those affected and continue to be well coordinated and accessible.
The organisation has reviewed its support and response efforts in conjunction with the SA Country Fire Service as attention now turns towards the coming summer bushfire season.
The fires in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island combined resulted in the loss of three lives, 46,700 livestock, 100 homes and 260,000 hectares of land.
There are some new faces on the Livestock SA board as we welcome Richard Kirkland, Furner; Marina Gregor, Kangaroo Island; and Robert Brokenshire, Mount Compass, who were announced during the Annual General Meeting on 14 September.
As we look forward to the onset of bushfire season, it’s also appropriate to reflect back on last season’s challenges.
OVER-abundant kangaroo populations continue to cause damage to farming land, infrastructure and crops in South Australia.
Kangaroos have long benefited from livestock production because of the removal of natural predators and increased access to water and grazing land.
WHILE many areas of South Australia received welcome rains in August after what had been a very dry winter, some areas of the state are still battling drought conditions.
Our Biosecurity Extension team and the Sheep Industry Funds are featured in the 2020 Stock Journal Livestock Annual.
LIVESTOCK SA welcomed the appointment of David Basham as the new South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development last month.
While Livestock SA acknowledges the progress which has been made during the past two years, a high priority is to follow-up on the issues which still need to be addressed in the industry with the new Minister.
LIVESTOCK SA would like to acknowledge the support of Tim Whetstone as Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development over the past few years.
PROVIDING accessible and high-quality agricultural education in South Australia is essential to ensure agricultural businesses continue to adapt and thrive in an everchanging industry.
Livestock SA welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement last month that fees for agriculture degrees will be cut by 62 per cent in 2021 to encourage more students into the sector.
ONE OF the good news stories of the year so far has been the reduction in water costs from July 1 for livestock producers reliant on water delivered through SA Water’s infrastructure network. Equivalent to an average saving of $1350 per year, Livestock SA welcomed this news given members had been calling for changes to water pricing since 2013.
Populations of feral deer have increased dramatically in areas of South Australia over the past few years and this has had a profound impact on agriculture, the environment and community safety.
The competition for pasture, soil erosion and degradation of creeks and riverbanks together with damage and loss of horticulture crops are just some of the issues associated with feral deer which have an impact on agricultural production.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions continuing to prevent many face-to-face events, Livestock SA held its first Northern Region meeting for 2020 online last month.
The meeting focused on the continued impact of drought, the Pastoral Act Review, the draft Far North Prescribed
Wells Water Allocation Plan and wild dogs.
Livestock producers have rightly welcomed a promising break to the season, but with it comes increased biosecurity risks.
Footrot, a contagious and notifiable bacterial disease in sheep, requires warm and moist conditions to develop.
The coronavirus pandemic impacting the world has made the recovery and rebuilding efforts in bushfire-affected areas of SA even more challenging.
But, support and resources for those recovering are still available for producers affected by the fires that burnt through Kangaroo Island, Cudlee Creek and Keilira in late 2019 and early 2020.
A range of pastoral region policies and plans that impact producers are being revised in 2020 and Livestock SA encourages South Australian producers to get involved and provide their feedback.
Bushfires can not only cause immediate threats during the event but also many threats post-fire, including biosecurity issues.
Livestock producers need to be prepared to reduce these associated biosecurity issues on their property as part of the post-fire recovery process.
Last year was a busy and successful year for Livestock SA and its members despite the tough weather conditions faced by many South Australian producers.