Applications open for on-farm producer demonstration sites

21 September 2018

Funding is available for livestock producer groups 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 eight beef cattle projects, four sheep projects and two goat projects that can commence in 2019.
 
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 2019-20 research, development and adoption (RD&A) priorities identified through its regional consultation process.
 
Those priorities include:

  • 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
  • On-farm actions (such as herbicide and pesticide use) that can impact rhizobia
  • Improving reproductive productivity in cattle production systems.   

For goat industry projects, applications should focus on:

  • 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, 17 October 2018.
 
For more information, visit: www.mla.com.au/pds

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