- Rabbit-Free AGM & Committee news
- Kaye Kessing’s Rabbits
- Possible evolution of Covid-19
- Everyone loves La Nina
- Rabbits still in town
- Staggering loss of threatened plants
The National Farmers’ Federation is calling on stakeholders to have their say, as part of a review of the Australian Farm Data Code. The Code was released in February of this year, and the NFF is now seeking to understand awareness and uptake of the Code, as well as appetite for certification of products and services.
Click here to have your say. Survey closes end of January 2021.
Integrity Matters newsletter
- LPA NVDs changes in 2020
- Strengthening data security
- Carcass feedback through Livestock Data Link
- Pilot study into enhancing producer feedback
- ISC Helpdesk update
- Producer survey results
- ISC program updates
The Road Traffic Act does not currently contain any requirements for traffic control when droving stock along roads. While there is no regulatory requirement to use signs when moving stock, stockowners have a duty of care to warn others of potential hazards due to the movement of animals under their control. Both temporary and permanent signs are only intended to warn drivers of the likelihood of stock being on the road.
Temporary warning signs
- Signs are encouraged when stock is about to enter, crossing or on a road
- An orange flag (450 mm x 300 mm) may also be used to improve visibility of signs but not compulsory
- Signs should not be left up on a permanent basis and are not suitable for night use
- Signs should be places on the shoulder of the road and should be visible to drivers over an approach distance of 80 m up to 250m depending on approach speed
Use of flashing yellow lights
- Stockowners are permitted to use yellow flashing lights when moving stock
- The light must be mounted on top of a vehicle and must be visible from all sides
- Flashing yellow lights are not compulsory however, are encouraged when stock are not clearly visible to a driver or a vehicle is left stationary not clear of the shoulder while the stock is being moved
Permanent stock crossing and warning signs
- Permanent signs are often installed where there are daily stock movements occurring across or along the road between paddocks or on an unfenced road where there is potential for wandering stock
- No signs may be installed on roads without the approval of the appropriate road authority
Ground-breaking Australian Government-funded workshops are helping organic-certified producers in South Australia combat the wild dog scourge while maintaining access to premium organic markets.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the baiting workshops were the first of their kind to be held in Australia.
“A total of 38 participants took part, representing 18 properties, covering four million hectares of the Rangelands region of South Australia,” Minister Littleproud said.
The latest The Australian Farmer Volume II digital book is now available for producers.
The Australian Farmer digital book campaign was launched in 2017 specifically for and in collaboration with Australian farmers. It offers extensive and expert insight into advanced farming principles and practices in this country to help all farmers, no matter their commodity or region, enhance productivity and profitability outcomes.
The book is provided for free to farmers across the Australia.
In October, the National Q Fever Taskforce met to discuss recent developments, including new funding for projects to conduct trials for a novel vaccine (as announced by Minister Coulton), to test the efficacy of the existing vaccine on adolescents (as announced by Minister Hunt), and an update on the AgriFutures project, as well as recent case numbers and other relevant project proposals. The Taskforce will meet again in late November to consider awareness campaigns and other initiatives at a state level and revisit its advocacy priorities.
The Government of South Australia wants to work side by side with producers to increase the productivity and profitability of producers and grow the state’s cattle herd and sheep flock. This is the premise at the heart of the Red Meat and Wool Growth Program.
The Red Meat and Wool Growth program provides a strong pathway for the industry to become more resilient and forward looking with the focus on technology adoption, strategic skill development and enhancing biosecurity.
Recently two important initiatives of the Red Meat and Wool Growth Program have commenced.
South Australia’s first virtual fencing trial involving cattle has demonstrated its potential to deliver significant environmental benefits through successfully protecting an area of Eucalyptus saplings along a water course from being grazed on a commercial farm.
In the trial conducted at Eden Valley by CSIRO, twenty Santa Gertrudis heifers were fitted with Agersens eShepherd® pre-commercial neckband prototype which trained the cattle to respond to an audio cue as they approached a virtual fence line within a 14-ha wire-fenced paddock.
This promising result demonstrates the potential of virtual fencing technology to deliver various NRM outcomes for graziers, including: keeping animals out of other environmentally sensitive areas (e.g. riparian zones, fragile soils), reduced overgrazing and erosion, and improved maintenance of groundcover and weed control.
CSIRO’s scientific publication of the full trial results can be found here.
The Barossa Improved Grazing Group also produced a 2-page case study of the trial results, which can be found here.
Agersens eShepherd® virtual fencing system is yet to be commercialised.
Livestock SA is currently recruiting for a new Heritage Agreement Outreach Officer for the recently established Revitalising Private Conservation in South Australia Program!
Please visit henderconsulting.com.au for further information about each role and to apply.
Nature Foundation is delivering this important initiative in partnership with Livestock SA, Conservation SA, Trees For Life (SA) and Nature Conservation Society of South Australia.
Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia invests in a wide range of projects, in its’ own right and often in partnerships. The Foundation may be called upon to ‘top-up’ or add value to existing projects, it invests in blue-sky science, and it puts a lot of effort into retaining a critical mass of knowledgeable rabbit researchers. It has also a long history in promoting ‘Bilbies Not Bunnies’ through the trademark, ‘Easter Bilby’, and is especially thankful to Haigh’s Chocolates for the ongoing support in that regard.
Examples of projects in which the Foundation has been involved include researching rabbit controls, understanding wild rabbits and their impact, R&D Capacity building, information delivery, promotion and communication and promoting on-ground action.
To apply for membership, click here.
Livestock SA is conducting this survey of South Australian livestock producers to gauge their views on issues in the industry.
The following survey is confidential and can be anonymous.
It only takes 5 minutes to complete and it will help Livestock SA to better advocate for producers and develop policy and submissions on your behalf.
You could also be in the running to win a $500 fuel voucher!
The Agricultural Bureau of South Australia has opened its 2020 Spirit of Excellence in Agriculture Awards, which offer young farmers and rural youth the opportunity to pursue personal and professional development to ultimately benefit their local communities.
Applications are now being accepted for the following awards:
- The Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship sponsored by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) is an $8000 grant to provide farmers (aged 18-40) in South Australia with the opportunity to improve personal and professional skills that will benefit; the rural industry, the individual in their own business or employment, and the sustainability of natural resources. Recipients are able to pursue further study, take a study tour or run a special project. DEW is committed to supporting communities and industry to make decisions and take action to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.
- The Rural Youth Bursary sponsored by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) is a $5000 grant for rural young people (aged 18-30) working in a rural community in South Australia, to undertake further study or develop a special project, which will ultimately benefit the rural community. The Rural Youth Bursary is open to applicants employed in any rural capacity and not restricted to primary production.
- The Services to Primary Production Award is awarded to an Agricultural Bureau of SA member; involved in primary production in South Australia, and nominated by their Bureau Branch – president, secretary or treasurer. This Award is in recognition of an exemplary service and honours an individual or group at a particular time that demonstrates the aims and objectives of the Agricultural Bureau of South Australia.
Application forms can be downloaded from the Agricultural Bureau of SA website at www.agbureau.com.au/awards.
Entries close 5pm Wednesday 30th September 2020.
Award winners will be presented at the Ag Bureau’s Spirit of Excellence Awards Dinner on Friday, 23rd October 2020
Cattle Council 2020 Yearbook out now!
Cattle Council’s 2020 Yearbook has been published and has been mailed out to all Cattle Council members and key stakeholders.
Australia’s new blueprint for humane, best practice wild dog management officially takes effect from 1 July 2020.
Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud praised the way government and industry stakeholders collaborated on the new National Wild Dog Action Plan.
“Wild dogs are terribly destructive pests, costing farmers conservatively upwards of $89 million a year in lost production and control costs,” Minister Littleproud said.
“They can decimate livestock, tearing down sheep and goats at will, and in doing so, can hurt rural and regional economies because of the destruction they wreak and anxiety they cause.
PIRSA is advising sheep producers, particularly those in high rainfall areas, to be vigilant on the health of pregnant ewes following reports of a number of late term abortions.
Chief Veterinary Officer, Mary Carr said early laboratory results indicate that the likely cause is a bacterial infection caused by Campbylobacter fetus spp (formerly known as ovine vibriosis).
“Ovine campylobacteriosis is one of the infectious causes of abortion in ewes which normally occurs during late preganancy,” she said. “It is highly contagious and can spread quickly within a flock.
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s (DPTI) has announced that it will not award a contract for Stage Two of the Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme (HVIS), and has discontinued the implementation of Stage Two for the periodic inspection of heavy vehicles.
If implemented, this scheme would have required certain heavy vehicles of more than 4.5 tonnes to undergo inspections every two years once they reach four years from the date of manufacture and inspected annually once they reach 10 years since manufacture.
Change of ownership inspections will remain to ensure compliance with heavy vehicle standards.
From 1 July 2020, Change of Ownership Inspection services will be provided at DPTI’s metropolitan and regional locations, as they are currently provided for road worthy inspections, clearing defects and various other inspection services.
GPSA will continue to hold workshops as part of its Roadworthy Heavy Vehicles… Made Easy! campaign, designed to educate South Australian primary producers about heavy vehicle standards and their obligations under the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual.
For more information or to register to attend a workshop, visit www.grainproducerssa.com.au
To learn more about the change of ownership inspections and the locations of inspection stations, visit the Heavy Vehicle Inspection website.
2020 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Womens Award Winner, Stephanie Schmidt has launched the pilot for her ACTFORAG program.
ACTFORAG provides practical skills to learn to thrive in adversity, with the aim of building resilient farmers, families and businesses. The program provides practical, easy to use strategies to manage the challenges that life throws at us and skills to choose to do what is most important to us.
The program is developed for farmers, farming couples/families and rural communities to build skills to manage stress and daily challenges and is open to individuals as well as couples or farming families to take part in together.
The pilot will begin on Thursday, June 11 via zoom and includes three 90 minute weekly sessions. Due to the nature as a pilot program, participants will be required to complete brief evaluation questions and provide feedback.
Limited spaces are available. Participants can register here or contact Steph.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment is extending the due date for submissions on the WoolPoll Review, to give wool industry stakeholders the best opportunity to share their thoughts on how the poll is run.
The submission deadline is now COB Friday 12 June 2020.
We encourage all wool levy payers and interested wool industry stakeholders to contribute their perspectives and lived experience to help shape a roust and accurate review.
Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin is still receiving applications for the 2020-2021 NRM Agricultural Knowledge Small Grants. Final submissions due by 5pm ACST Monday 15 June 2020.
The Agricultural Small Grants are designed to allow groups to undertake agricultural training, skills and knowledge building activities. This grant is intended for eligible groups who are currently operating within the current Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin region
How much can be applied for?
A maximum of $3,000 (GST Exc.) is available per group applying.
When do projects need to be completed by?
Projects must be completed, all funding acquitted, and project final reports completed and submitted 4 weeks after the grant event has been executed or no later than Friday 28th May 2021. There will be no opportunities for project extensions.
Who can apply?
The Agricultural Knowledge Small Grant is available to the following existing groups:
- agriculture bureaus
- farming system groups
- field day committees
- Landcare and Local Action Planning groups
- consultant facilitated farmer groups
- non-government and not for profit organisations working to improve agriculture and native vegetation management.
Funding through the Agriculture Knowledge Small Grants is anticipated to give groups the opportunity to undertake agricultural training, skills and knowledge building in the following land management/farming issues:
- managing soil acidification
- reducing the risk of soil and nutrient loss from wind erosion
- opportunities for increasing soil organic carbon
- reducing the risk of soil and nutrient loss from hillslope (water) erosion.
Eligible projects will demonstrate the following:
- be driven from an agricultural or horticultural farming group perspective
- be conducted within the SAMDB NRM region
- build knowledge and skills of the group
- facilitate improved management of natural resources.
Groups must be pre-existing and can be formal or non-formal. State and federal government agencies are ineligible to apply.
For more information contact Zoe Starkey, Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0408 416 684.
Meat & Livestock Australia have recently launched some important digital initiatives including several podcasts to deliver timely and effective stakeholder communications, particularly given the disruptions from COVID-19.
The Feedback podcast
The Feedback podcast is a new bi-monthly podcast from MLA. Hosted by media personality Ben Dobbin, the hour long podcast includes content ranging from red meat producers to policy makers and celebrity chefs to scientists.
Episode one features gold medal winning Australian Paralympian and Beef Ambassador, Temora’s Scott Reardon, as well as an in-depth interview with MLA Managing Director Jason Strong on how industry is responding to the challenges from COVID-19. The podcast also features help available for producers impacted by bushfires, some red meat cooking tips from MLA sponsored celebrity chef Hayden Quinn, and Victorian producer, Fiona Conroy walks through the making of her family’s carbon neutral farm. The podcast also contains a snapshot of news from MLA. Listen to the podcast here
MLA’s ‘On the ground’ podcast
In response to the ongoing disruption and changes caused by COVID-19, MLA has recently launched this new short-form weekly podcast series providing the latest information from key international markets, delivered by MLA staff based across the globe. The podcast is hosted by MLA’s Josh Anderson. Listen to the podcast here
Cattle Council of Australia – Beef Brief
- Trade with China
- Cattle Council Membership
- One Question Survey – Biodiversity Stewardship
- News in brief
The Wildlife and Habitat Recovery Taskforce was announced earlier this year to provide independent advice on the coordination of activities to benefit South Australia’s wildlife and habitat recovery effort, with Dr Felicity-ann Lewis appointed as the Chair.
The Wildlife and Habitat Recovery Taskforce members include:
- Dr Felicity-ann Lewis, former mayor of the City of Marion and SA’s 2014 Australian of the Year
- Craig Wilkins, CE of the Conservation Council of SA
- Parry Agius, Managing Director of Linking Futures
- Joanne Davidson, Research and Policy Manager at South Australian Tourism Commission
- Professor Bob Hill, Adelaide Uni’s Director of Environment Institute
- Joe Keynes, President of Livestock SA
- Sussanah Elliot, CEO of Australian Science Media Centre
- Paul Stevenson, CEO of RSPCA-SA
- Wendy Campana, former CEO of the Local Government Association SA and Kangaroo Island Commissioner
Integrity Matters newsletter
- Case study- Guaranteeing a quality product
- NDV – what’s changing?
- LPA accreditation renewals and auditing
- Declaration of Human Growth Hormones
The impacts of COVID-19 are really starting to bite woolgrowers nationally. While initially cautious of stating market disruption was solely the result of COVID-19, over the past month it has been proven the wool market has taken a severe hit due to the pandemic.
The South Australian Government’s Red Meat and Wool Growth Program is offering Technology Assistance Grants to eligible saleyards and processors for the installation of electronic identification (eID) infrastructure and associated activities.
A rebate of up to 50% of costs (to a maximum of $200,000) will be available to saleyards and sheep and/or beef cattle processors, located in South Australia.
Applications close 5pm 13 June 2020.
The PIRSA Pastoral Update for April 2020.
The beginning of 2020 has certainly proved relentless in challenging Australians. Woolgrowers across the country have battled a range of extremes, from ongoing drought to bushfires, and now the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the subsequent changes that we have all had to adapt to our everyday lives.
A new online virtual tool provides the public with a view of the wild dog fence using 1,781 photographs from footage recorded by Dog Fence Rebuild Committee members last year.
The images will help determine the materials currently being used and the conditions in each area to help make fence rebuild decisions.
Updated pictures will be added to the tool as sections of the fence are replaced during the rebuild.
Nominations for the Kondinin Group and ABC Rural 2020 Australian Farmer of the Year Awards are open and farmers across the country are encourage to nominate.
This is the 11th year of the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards; a program designed to recognise and celebrate excellence in Australian agriculture.
Award categories include:
Australian Farmer of the Year
Young Farmer of the Year, sponsored by McDonald’s Australia
Farming Legend of the Year
Community Leader of the Year
Rural Consultant of the Year, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience
Agricultural Student of the Year, sponsored by AgriFutures Australia
Award for Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Telstra
Award for Excellence in Technology, sponsored by New Holland
Award for Excellence in Diversification
Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research
Nominations can be submitted online at www.farmeroftheyear.com.au and close 24 May 2020.
Wool Producers Australia, the Livestock Contractors’ Association and Australian Wool Innovation have finalised and made available the Plan, Prepare & Conduct Best Welfare Practice for Sheep Husbandry Procedures – Training Guide.
Help to unlock the potential for South Australia
Calling all people involved in primary industries, research, or agricultural technologies (AgTech).
The State Government, through the guidance and advice of the AgTech Advisory Group, is creating an AgTech strategy for South Australia to encourage greater uptake of technology on-farm to increase productivity and profitability.
This survey is the first step in putting together a blueprint to make South Australia a leader in AgTech.
Survey closes at 5pm, Friday 24 April 2020
The MLA ‘Goats on the Move’ program and industry news update for March 2020.
The State Government has appointed Mrs Michelle Edge as the new Chief Executive of Primary Industries and Regions SA.
- Expand mental health outreach support with enhanced Family and Business Support Program
- Introduce a $120 per dog wild dog bounty
- $330,000 for community drought recovery events
- Extend the 50 per cent rebate for pastoral lease rents
- An extra wild dog trapper to be employed
The Marshall Liberal Government’s $21 million drought package will be expanded to allow more primary producers dealing with extended dry conditions to access support as an outcome of the Premier’s recent drought tour.
Do you understand what is required for your heavy vehicles to be roadworthy in line with the Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual?
Not sure if your heavy vehicles are compliant?
Grain Producers SA, on behalf of Primary Producers SA, and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) are partnering to deliver a series of FREE Roadworthy Heavy Vehicles … Made Easy! workshops specifically to help SA primary producers understand heavy vehicle roadworthiness requirements.
Theory workshops will be held to provide primary producers with:
- An outline of the NHVR Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual
- Road safety awareness
- Producer compliance and maintenance responsibilities
- Requirements of the regulator
- Possible changes that may be introduced to the scheme
In addition, all theory workshop participants have the opportunity to take part in a practical workshop to receive valuable hints and tips prior to their own heavy vehicle inspections starting.
Early registrants may have the opportunity to have their own vehicle’s roadworthiness checked for FREE as part of each practical workshop (spots are limited).
Workshops are being held at the following locations:
- LAUNCH: Wallaroo – Friday 20th March @1pm, Coopers Alehouse
- Bordertown – Tuesday 24th of March @ 9am, Tatiara, Truck & Trailers
- Loxton – Wednesday 25th of March @ 9am, PIRSA
- Cummins – Tuesday 31st March @ 8.30am, Ramsey Bros Secker Court
- Cleve – Wednesday 1st April @ 8.30am, Ramsey Bros Cleve
- Riverton – Wednesday 8th April @ 8.30am, Ramsey Bros
- Murray Bridge – Friday 17th April @ 9am, Regional Development Australia Murray Bridge
- Tanunda – Tuesday 28th April @9am, CWA Hall
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), in partnership with Animal Health Australia, WoolProducers Australia and Sheep Producers Australia, are currently funding an impact assessment into sheep reproduction research, development and extension (RD&E).
Farmers are now able to access new additions to FarmHub including the Drought Preparedness e-Guide and supporting Farm Risk Management Resources, providing users with relevant information and resources to help prepare for drought.
Would you like to learn more about vehicle configuration? Need help understanding routing? Ready for guidance on how to use the NHVR portal?
Our expert portal training team are making their way to Adelaide later this month to share some tips and tricks for using the latest features of the NHVR portal.
Tuesday 17 March
SARTA Office: Regency Park, Adelaide, South Australia
In late 2019 we released a range of new online services in the NHVR customer portal to make it easier to do your heavy vehicle business – from vehicle standards applications to managing your NHVAS accreditation.
If you’re near Adelaide, and would like some help getting started with the new features or understanding how the portal can make it easier for you to do business, please email us at email@example.com with your name, number of attendees and your topics of interest and we’ll be in touch to confirm times.
2020 has started with a lot of woolgrowers facing hardships. Directors and staff of WoolProducers thoughts are with those that have been impacted by fire and of course those who continue to battle the drought.
The bushfire conditions that have ravaged much of Australia this summer will do little to reduce and deter the wild rabbit population, according to Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia Chair Professor Wayne Meyer.
The PIRSA Pastoral Update for February 2020.
Livestock SA would like to support Wool Producers Australia’s submission to AWEX’s review of the National Wool Declaration (NWD), which rejects the proposed new mulesing status categories. The NWD was developed specifically to provide details on mulesing status, as well as dark and medullated fibre risk. The addition of the new categories may cause immense confusion amongst growers and the supply chain.
The National Wild Dog Management Coordination Committee meeting held in Sydney on Thursday 29 January 2020 discussed the support available for prevention of wild dog impacts on bushfire affected producers.
The committee, including Livestock SA’s Geoff Power, oversees the National Wild Dog Action Plan, a strategy that ensures Australian producers have best practice management tools and advice to minimise impacts on livestock.
There is a variety of different lethal and non-lethal tools available to control wild dogs. These include poison baits, traps, shooting, fencing, guard animals and aversion techniques (such as lights, alarms, and flagging). Not all tools are useful for a given area; each tool varies in its effectiveness, depending on a range of factors specific to the local situation. The use of many control tools is also subject to various laws and regulations. Wild dog control officers are familiar with these and are able to advise people on what is and is not permitted in your local area.
For more information regarding tools and strategies for wild dog management:
Despite the current drought affecting rabbit populations, the ever-present pest is expected to rebound in numbers very quickly once the drought breaks, according to Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia Chair Professor Wayne Meyer.