Annual Call opens for RD&A funding applications for 2019-20

14 September 2018

Applications are now open for individuals, organisations and project teams to submit preliminary proposals for funding to support on-farm research, development and adoption (RD&A) projects that benefit sheepmeat and grassfed beef producers.
 
Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) annual call is aimed at attracting projects which address the RD&A priorities identified for the sheepmeat and grassfed beef industries for 2019-20.
 
The priorities were determined following extensive consultation with red meat livestock producers through MLA’s regional consultation process.

The 2019-20 priorities are:

  • Optimisation of reproduction efficiency in sheep production systems
  • Autonomous on-farm data acquisition and interpretation to manage livestock productivity
  • Novel grazing systems
  • Weeds and pest management approaches to preserve the feedbase
  • Short-term projects/reviews:
    • Design and perform studies to estimate the prevalence of calf loss in southern Australia
    • Exploring stable tree–pasture systems in northern Australia
    • On-farm actions (such as herbicide and pesticide use) that can impact rhizobia
  • Call for expression of interest in developing a northern Australia strategic partnership to address calf loss.

MLA General Manager – Producer Consultation and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said aside from the short-term projects and reviews, the 2019-20 annual call is looking to focus on longer-term, three to five-year programs.
 
“The aim is to attract collaborative, multi-disciplinary and innovative programs of work, moving a step beyond the more stand alone project focus that has been the result of previous annual calls,” Mr Crowley said.
 
“MLA is encouraging proposals that integrate solutions across sheepmeat, beef productivity and feedbase productivity priorities that deliver whole-farm benefits.
 
“An emphasis has also been placed on the need for proposals to address the pathway to adoption in order to be considered for funding.
 
“MLA has a suite of adoption programs which could be suitable to deliver outcomes for the proposed work, including awareness through to adoption activities such as the Profitable Grazing Systems program, as well as decision support tools.
 
“Proposals must also engage producers from the planning and design stage, through to the implementation and delivery of the adoption actions on-farm.”
  
Mr Crowley said once preliminary proposals for the 2019-20 annual call have been submitted, they will be assessed by panels of northern, southern and western sheepmeat and grassfed beef producers along with MLA staff.
 
“Applicants meeting the selection criteria in stage one of the process are then invited to submit a full proposal,” Mr Crowley said.
 
“Stage two of the process will see full proposals assessed for their technical merit by an independent expert panel prior to consideration by the Red Meat Panel.”
 
The 2019-20 annual call Request for Tender can be downloaded here
 
The application form for preliminary proposals is available on the MLA website and should be submitted electronically to MLA at projectcall@mla.com.au before 6.00pm AEDT, Friday, 19 October 2018.

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