Applications open for on-farm producer demonstration sites

13 December 2017

Funding is available for livestock producer groups to run local projects to validate and demonstrate the business value of integrating new technologies and on-farm management practices into local farming systems.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) 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 cattle projects, five sheep projects and two goat projects that can commence in 2018.

This is the second round of MLA’s PDS open call process for 2017-18, with seven new PDS projects awarded funding earlier this year in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.

MLA General Manager – Producer Consultation and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said the key outcome of a PDS is producer adoption of the demonstrated innovation and management practices to achieve improved profitability and productivity.

“The PDS program is aimed at increasing the rate of adoption of key management practices and technologies that improve business performance and shortening the time lag between technological innovations and on-farm adoption,” 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 proposals for PDS projects related to sheep and beef enterprises that align with the relevant 2017-18 research, development and adoption (RD&A) priorities identified through its regional consultation process.

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.

The priority areas were determined by producers through MLA’s regional consultation process, which involves 18 regional committees and the North Australia Beef Research Council (NABRC), the Southern Australia Meat Research Council (SAMRC), and the Western Australia Livestock Research Council (WALRC).

Preliminary PDS applications should be submitted on or before Wednesday, 31 January 2018.

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