LITTLE change is expected in Australia’s goat population and slaughter figures this financial year, the first projection from a new forecasting committee has indicated.
The committee has forecast an estimated 2-2.25 million goats will be supplied for processing nationally in the 2017- 2018 financial year.
According to Meat & Livestock Australia, 2,266,810 goats were processed in Australia in 2016-17.
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New South Wales Department of Primaries Industries project leader, Trudie Atkinson, said goat industry intelligence, the latest data, including a NSW goat meat production survey, and forecast modelling were used to develop the twelve-month outlook.
“The committee projected the goat population is likely to remain stable or slightly increase,” Ms Atkinson said.
“Office of Environment and Heritage’s 2016 aerial survey indicates the (rangeland) goat population is 5.8 million in central and western NSW, an area covering 450,000 square kilometres.
“The population has been trending upward since 1999 and figures from the 2017 aerial survey will improve our understanding of the current population.”
Goat Industry Council of Australia president and forecasting committee member, Rick Gates, said the committee analysed positive and negative factors to build its capacity to recognise and interpret influences which impact on population and supply.
“Producer reports of lower goat numbers, reduced harvest turn-off in some areas, low minimum carcase weights and dry seasonal conditions were considered.
“An increased distribution of goats, steady growth of semi-managed enterprises, improved harvest efficiency and investment in infrastructure are all positive influences,” Mr Gates said.
NSW DPI said has seen the formation of the forecasting committee is expected to be a “game-changer” for the goat industry.
The new committee was created through a MLA and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) co-funded project, aims to better target markets by improving the industry’s understanding of the projected goat population and supply changes.
NSW DPI is leading the project with leading research scientists, economists and key service agencies from NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia working to boost access to reliable data and forecast models for the Australian goat industry.
NSW figures played an important role in developing the national forecast, supported by National Livestock Identification System Ltd figures, which indicated 68 per cent of goats processed were from NSW.
The NSW goat production survey was informed by 44 percent of the 1100 producers surveyed, reflecting the enthusiasm of the industry to boost its collective intelligence.
Click here to see the national and state goat slaughter figures for 2016-17.
Source: NSW DPI.