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MLA calls for on-farm demonstration proposals

Sheep Central, March 29, 2022

SHEEP, goat and cattle producers interested in running on-farm projects to demonstrate research and development findings are being sought by Meat & Livestock Australia.

Funding applications for the next round of Producer Demonstration Sites Program are now open throughout Australia, MLA said today.

MLA said applications for its 2022-23 Producer Demonstration Sites (PDS) program open on 1 April 2022 and close on 13 May 2022. This includes levy and co-contributor funding options for projects ranging from two to six years.

MLA general manager – research, development and adoption, Michael Crowley, said the PDS program aims to increase the rate of adoption of key management practices and technologies that improve business profitability, productivity and sustainability.

“Adoption of research outcomes is absolutely critical to getting the best return on the research investments we make on behalf of levy payers.

“By addressing specific productivity priorities, producers are able to implement solutions that deliver direct benefits to their business,” he said.

“Producers who then connect with the demonstration sites then also make changes delivering productivity improvements at scale.”

PDS programs deliver $168.8 million in net benefit

MLA said an independent evaluation has calculated MLA’s PDS program has delivered $168.8 million in total net benefits to participating producers as a result of completed projects between 2015-2021. In 2021-22, this was $10.8 million in net benefits to participating producers, MLA said.

“On average, this means producers returned an additional net benefit of $6/ha annually as a result of their participation in the program,” Mr Crowley said.

There are two funding options available to producer groups wishing to participate in the PDS program: levy and co-contributor.

Producer groups wishing to engage in a levy PDS project can apply for up to $25,000 per year, for the length of the project.

Groups wishing to engage in a co-contributor PDS project can apply for up to $50,000 per year, for the length of the project.

All producer groups will need to engage a facilitator who is experienced in group coordination and extension, monitoring and evaluation of on-farm practice change and communication and reporting.

Co-contributor projects require producer investment in the project, which is matched by the MLA Donor Company (MDC).

Levy PDS program applications must be aligned to regional PDS priorities set by the research advisory committees – SALRC, NABRC & WALRC. A complete list and further details of eligible categories can be found in the Terms of Reference.

Co-contributor PDS program applications must align with industry priorities and targets as per industry and MLA strategic plans.

For full details of the Producer Demonstration sites (PDS) program and to watch the recording on a recent webinar about MLA’s PDS program and how to set yourself up for success in the upcoming PDS call, visit the Producer Demonstration Site section of MLA’s website.

Source: MLA.

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