June Newsletter: President’s Report
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.
Continued drought support was still a major focus for pastoralists in the region, with very few having received a season break.
Much of the region is now moving into its fourth year of drought.
Considerable destocking has occurred on many properties, with some now hand-feeding and down to minimal stock numbers.
Wild dogs remain a big problem both inside and outside the dog fence, with pastoralists expressing the need for a government policy regarding cluster fencing.
However, in some good news for pastoralists, work has now commenced on the SA Dog Fence rebuild.
This initial focus of this work will be on the first 10 kilometres and the process will then be assessed and refined for the remaining length of the 100-year-old fence.
The rebuild will reduce the number of sheep losses south of the dog fence, ensuring the SA livestock industry remains a profitable and viable sector into the future.
Pastoralists who attended the online meeting expressed their concern regarding the lack of action on a new Pastoral Act and the YourSay consultation process.
There was also some unease regarding the lack of feedback from government on comments made by pastoralists on the
draft Far North Prescribed Wells Water Allocation Plan, with members reiterating that water licenses cannot be separated from pastoral leases.
Northern Region members also expressed their concern regarding travellers camping on pastoral properties without permission, interfering with infrastructure and the landscape and leaving rubbish behind.
Livestock SA continues to collaborate with Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation and Primary Industries and Regions SA to deliver ‘Back to Business’ program and webinars to fire-affected producers throughout South Australia.
Four webinars held for Cudlee Creek, Kangaroo Island and Kelira discussing pasture recovery, livestock nutrition, ewe management and business essentials have been well attended, with future webinars planned. Dates for these webinars will be announced on the Livestock SA website and through social media.
Livestock SA is still organising one-on-one support for fire-affected producers as part of the ‘Back to Business’ initiative.
Fire-affected producers can access up to three free one-on-one-sessions with a farm management consultant to help put their business back on track.
Having recently participated in a very positive seasonal outlook briefing from Bureau of Meteorology, we are hoping winter provides good rainfall for all producers across SA.
– JOE KEYNES, President, Livestock SA