Applications open for on-farm producer demonstration sites

10 February 2017


Livestock producer groups seeking to lift productivity and profitability are invited to apply for funding to run local projects aimed at validating the on-farm benefits of integrating Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) research findings and innovations into their businesses.
MLA’s Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program provides funding of up to $25,000 a year for a maximum of three years, for up to ten beef projects, five sheep projects and two goat projects that are able to commence in 2017.
MLA’s General Manager – Producer Consultation and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said the PDS program was aimed at shortening the time lag between technological innovation and adoption of practices by producers at a local level.
“The PDS program supports groups of livestock producers to demonstrate and validate the business value of integrating new management practices, research and development outputs and associated skills into local farming systems,” Mr Crowley said.
“The key outcome of a PDS is producer adoption of the demonstrated innovation and management practices, resulting in improved profitability and productivity.”
Mr Crowley said a PDS must be initiated by a producer group and address a key adoption issue limiting enterprise productivity and profitability and demonstrate positive results when adopted by producers.
MLA is calling for preliminary applications for producer demonstration sites related to sheep and beef enterprises that align with the relevant 2017/18 regional Northern Australian Beef Research Council (NABRC), Southern Australian Meat Research Council (SAMRC) and Western Australian Livestock Research Council (WALRC) priorities.
Those priorities are:

  • Whole farm breeder productivity systems;
  • Future feedbase scenarios;
  • Profitable and efficient ruminant nutrition.

For goat industry projects, applications are sought focused around:

  • Understanding and benchmarking the profitability of goat production systems;
  • Benefits of developing diversity in the feedbase for goat production to sustainably increase carrying capacity;
  • Triple bottom line benefit of using goats for weed management;
  • Improved understanding of business and herd management;
  • Genetic improvement in line with market requirements.

To help guide producer groups considering applying for the PDS program, a webinar has been recorded by MLA and is available on the MLA website. The webinar addresses some key factors to consider in applications and provides tips to ensure they are as compelling as possible.
Preliminary PDS applications should be submitted on or before Friday, 10 March, 2017.
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