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On-farm adoption during COVID: you can’t stop progress

24 November 2021

Key points:

  • 72.9 million hectares of Australian agricultural land impacted by MLA adoption programs
  • 4.4 million cattle impacted by practice change programs
  • 4 million sheep impacted by practice change programs
  • 86,000 goats impacted by practice change programs.

Despite the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, more than 8,000 producers still managed to grow and develop their businesses through MLA adoption activities in 2020–21.

According to MLA’s newly-released Producer Adoption Outcomes Report 2020–21, 82% of these producers intend to change their business as a result of these activities – whether it was through a one-day workshop, short course, long-term practice change program or even a one-hour webinar.

Some key outcomes from the 2020–21 MLA adoption program include:

  • 72.9 million hectares of Australian agricultural land impacted by MLA adoption programs
  • 4.4 million cattle impacted by practice change programs
  • 4 million sheep impacted by practice change programs
  • 86,000 goats impacted by practice change programs.

MLA’s Program Manager for Producer Adoption, Sally Leigo, said that while the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions meant a new way of doing things, producers hadn’t shied away from upskilling themselves and developing their businesses.

“During the second half of the year, we saw a large effort from MLA service providers to get back out in front of producers and deliver in-person events,” Sally said. See Figure 1.

Figure 1: 2020–21 adoption activity locations

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“As well as the in-person events, MLA also delivered a range of online resource hubs, eLearning packages and webinars for producers who weren’t able to leave home.

“These can be accessed any time and are entirely free of charge – whether you’re a producer, livestock advisor or an industry stakeholder, we want everybody to be able to access the latest R&D and increase our industry’s productivity and profitability,” Sally said. You can view the full MLA Producer Adoption Outcomes Report 2020–21 here.