MLA adoption programs delivered $803M* worth of benefits for producers
18 February 2022
- MLA adoption programs have delivered $803M* in total net benefits to participating producers who adopted a new practice between 2015-2021.
- For producers participating in programs this year, their annual net benefit is calculated to be $52.6m for the 2021-22 year.
- Profitable Grazing Systems (PGS) - Additional net benefit of $18/ha annually as a result of participation.
- Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) - Additional net benefit of $6/ha annually as a result of participation. MLA currently has over 350 PDS sites covering over 7m hectares.
- EDGE Network - $6.28/ha additional annual benefit for southern producers and $44/km2 for northern producer who participate.
Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) second annual Producer Adoption Outcomes Report has reported that 8,258 producers participated in learning and training activities to grow their businesses. These programs delivered $803M* in total net benefits to participating producers who adopted a new practice between 2015-2021. For producers participating in programs this year, their annual net benefit is calculated to be $52.6m for the 2021-22 year.
The impact of COVID-19 restrictions and border closures meant several of MLA’s adoption activities were postponed in the first half of the financial year. However, in the second half of financial year 2021 saw MLA service providers out speaking with producers and delivering more in-person events.
MLA General Manager – Research, Development and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said MLA was proud to introduce new adoption products for producers last year. These include MeatUp forums across NSW, Queensland and South Australia and the eLearning platform ‘The toolbox’ online.
“As a result of the rollout of these adoption programs and the continuation of other successful programs, MLA recorded an average 86.5% satisfaction rate among producers who took part. While 82% of attendees indicated intent to change practices because of participating in MLA adoption programs,” Mr Crowley said.
“In total, we are proud to say of the adoption programs funded between 2015-21, $802.8M* in total net benefits will be provided to participating producers. In 2021-22 this will be equivalent to $52.6M in annual net benefits to participating producers.”
For livestock, 4 million sheep, 4.4 million cattle and 86,000 goats were positively impacted by practice change programs rolled out by MLA. While 72.9 million hectares of Australian agricultural land was improved.
MLA’s flagship programs for producers include Profitable Grazing Systems (PGS) and Producer demonstration sites (PDS). These programs provide supported learning packages (SLPs) and key management practices to producers across Australia.
“PGS delivered $225.4 million in total net benefits to participating producers as a result of SLPs delivered between 2015-2021. On average, this means producers can expect an additional net benefit of $18/ha annually following their participation in the program,” Mr Crowley said.
Mr Crowley also noted that, “PDS has delivered $168.8 million* in total net benefits to participating producers due to completed projects between 2015-2021. Interestingly, 90% of producers who have completed a PDS project in 2020–21 have indicated they have adopted new practices as a direct result of taking part.”
Other successful programs for producers include the EDGEnetwork and BeefUp Forums. MLA’s EDGEnetwork (EDGE) offers practical learning opportunities through one- to three-day workshops to help producers develop skills necessary to improve their livestock enterprises. EDGE has delivered $337.9 million in total net benefits to participating producers, the most out of all adoption programs offered by MLA.
BeefUp Forums provide an opportunity for northern Australian beef producers to stay up to date with the latest on-farm research and technologies and to meet fellow producers working in the red meat industry. The BeefUp Forums delivered $35.2 million, which is the equivalent to $2.1 million in annual net benefits to participating producers.
On average, northern beef producers participating in an EDGE workshop can expect an additional net benefit of $44/km2 annually. In addition, southern producers participating in an EDGE workshop can expect an additional net benefit of $6.28/ha annually.
“The adoption programs offered by MLA demonstrate the potential return of investment available to producers across Australia. I would encourage all red meat producers, livestock advisors and industry stakeholders to get involved, so that we can continue to increase the productivity and profitability of the red meat industry,” said Mr Crowley.