Livestock SA calls for SA specific pasture research
More funding for livestock research and extension adapted to SA conditions is among Livestock SA’s wishlist for the upcoming March 17 state election.
More funding for livestock research and extension adapted to SA conditions is among Livestock SA’s wishlist for the incoming government after the March 17 election.
It is among six key areas the organisation wants all parties and candidates to commit to and has outlined in a position paper.
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Livestock SA chief executive officer Andrew Curtis says they are concerned with the withdrawal of state government funding for research over the past decade and particularly want to see a statewide feedbase and grazing system plan developed.
“There is a national framework which has given the lead to other states but it did not call for individual states to stop just ensure no duplication in terms of research,” he said.
“There is a critical need to have the extension of leading research especially a lot of the feedbase pastures work in Vic, tailored for SA .
“What has really come through the (SA Beef Industry) Blueprint is being able to supply quality grassfed beef for a longer period of the year and to do that we need to look at new species that do well across summer and new irrigation species.”
Mr Curtis says Livestock SA also wants more consultation with farmers ahead of proposed mining and gas projects with shortcomings including a failure of government to adhere to existing policies.
“Producers feel their opinions have been dismissed by the government of the day and that they have looked at short-term gains ahead of the potential long term loss of production,” he said.
“We are a premium food producing state so our reputation is very important.”
Other priorities include the continuation of the successful 90-day transport project, improving the Natural Resources Management model with a return to moe regional decision making and implementing a water security program, especially helping those reliant on SA Water mains water, reduce their costs.
“There is an opportunity to support producers in decoupling from the (SA Water) network but any program must not be too prescriptive because there are a range of solutions,” Mr Curtis said.
Livestock SA is also calling on all parties to ensure PIRSA remains a “standalone” department rather than being absorbed into a mega department as several other states have done.
“All potential governments need to recognise the importance of livestock to the SA economy with the sheep and beef sectors supporting more than 30,000 jobs- more than the car industry ever provided for SA,” Mr Curtis said.
“The recent fire at Thomas Foods International is a great case in point showing that while there are jobs on-farm, there are many others off-farm.”
Livestock SA president Joe Keynes says the future of the State’s livestock industries is bright and has contributed strongly to the agri-food sector’s record-breaking revenue of $19.975 billion in the last financial year.
“The livestock sector is a very important contributor to the state’s economy which is why it’s vitally important for the incoming State Government to acknowledge and support our sector,” he said.
1.Commit to continuing the 90-Day Transport Project.
2.Improve the NRM framework.
3.Establish and implement a water security and accessibility program for livestock producers.
4.Improve engagement and reduce the impact of the State’s mining, gas exploration and extraction sector.
5.Energise the implementation of One Biosecurity and commit to continued support. Recognise the benefit of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) to the broader community and commit to funding in partnership with industry.
6.Commit to investing in current and future research, development and adoption projects which underpin the South Australian livestock sector.