On the recommendation of the newly-established independent Sheep Industry Fund board, former Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone approved about $4.2 million of expenditure from the Sheep Industry Fund.
The funding will support projects that underpin the health, productivity and profitability of the SA sheep industry.
The SIF contribution rate is 67 cents for each sheep sold. This includes 12c that is put towards the rebuilding of the Dog Fence.
The main areas of investment of the fund in 2021 are:
- Specific animal health issues, namely ovine johnes disease, footrot and lice
- Predator control - the Dog Fence, BiteBack program, wild dog trapper program and Box Flat Wild Dog control program)
- Farm biosecurity - controlling disease, surveillance and prevention.
The SIF provided support to industry advocacy through funds to Livestock SA to help it continue to provide a strong voice as the state's peak body for livestock producers.
The SIF is also supporting the Red Meat and Wool Growth Program, which is designed to increase industry productivity and profitability by upgrading infrastructure with technological improvements and developing skills within the industry.
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The SIF will provide funding to the Toxoplasma Control and Prevention Program, which will run across three years and involve 20 flocks from across SA. The project will determine the risk factors that result in increased exposure to toxoplasma and evaluate vaccines to combat the parasite.
A sponsorship will be provided to the SA Sheep Expo, a three-day event at the Adelaide Showground that enables participants aged between 12 and 23 years old to receive education and advice on all aspects of sheep production. The expo is expected to resume in 2021 as restrictions on public gatherings ease.
A contribution will be made to the SheepConnect SA communications program. SheepConnect SA is Australian Wool Innovation's lead extension project in SA for information and skill development of wool producers. The program does this by delivering workshops, technology days, industry forums and newsletters.
Support has also been provided to Merino SA to collect carcase phenotypes for eating quality traits. This will provide advice about sire selection and evaluation to maintain the quality of SA lamb.
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The SIF will also provide support to update the Farm Gross Margin Guide for use by crop and livestock producers as part of their on-farm business planning process in 2021. An editable excel version of the guide is available to download from the PIRSA website.
The sheep industry is a valuable part of the SA economy and the levy that producers contribute totals about $4m annually. The SIF board is welcoming engagement from producers to ensure the fund is used to benefit all SA producers.
The present members of the Sheep Industry Fund board are chairman Ian Rowett, Marrabel, Keith Bolto, Kangaroo Island, Helen Thomas, Manoora, Graham Clothier, Lucindale, Jane Kellock, Farrell Flat, and Nette Fischer, Wasleys. Tom Cosentino is the executive officer for the board and is available to answer questions or listen to feedback.
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