$484 million return potential for sheep and beef producers

Sheep Central, July 12, 2021

MEAT & Livestock Australia’s BredWell FedWell program has generated an estimated $33.8 million in extra profits across the sheep industry, according to a report released today.

The Producer Adoption Outcomes Report details adoption projects and programs MLA delivered for the 2019-20 financial year and outlines how red meat producers have benefited from their involvement in them.

The report said that since the BredWell FedWell program’s inception to the end of FY2019-20, the program has engaged 4371 sheep producers across 186 workshops. As a result of investments between 2015-20, it was determined that BredWell FedWell provided $2.48/ewe average annual net benefit to sheep producers, with $33.8 million in additional profits across the sheep industry. It also generated a $2.98/cow average annual net benefit to cattle producers, with $4.98 million in additional profits across the cattle industry.

The report’s economic assessment of research adoption projects funded between 2015-20 found that meat producers participating in research and adoption programs have the potential to receive an additional $484 million for their businesses by 2040.

MLA’s general manager of research, development and adoption, Michael Crowley, said MLA was focused on accelerating the ability to get outcomes for commercial businesses by embedding producers into research from the beginning.

“MLA’s programs aim to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and technologies that improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability, though supporting livestock producers to work in peer-to-peer learning groups and Producer Demonstration Sites,” Mr Crowley said.

“Our producer adoption strategy ensures all applied on-farm research and development has a clear pathway to adoption built into each project, or a robust mechanism to ensure adoption outcomes are achieved.

“We’re also investing more resources into strategic partnerships that address key producer priorities that will result in greater focus on the areas which will have the maximum impact for industry.”

Mr Crowley said a total of 14,111 red meat producers and 972 livestock advisors including consultants and agents took part in adoption programs over the past year with many reaping the benefits of improved management practices.

“28m hectares of Australian agricultural land has been impacted by MLA adoption programs with 1.1m cattle and 2.9m sheep benefiting from practice change programs.

“We’ve also received great feedback with 90% of attendees indicating their intent to change practise as a direct result of MLA adoption programs,” Mr Crowley said.

“For example, the Profitable Grazing Systems program has proved to be a game changer for the industry providing a $17.47 per hectare average annual net benefit to producers involved and delivering $110m in additional value to red meat producers over the past five years.

“Having a regional focus, determining local priorities, and working with like-minded producers has proven to be a successful formula.

“We’ve also adapted online course content in response to the drought, bushfires and floods, with producers keen to learn more about containment feeding, property planning and pasture redevelopment.”

The full report which includes more information about MLA research adoption programs, tools and calculators, and how to get involved is available here.



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