WESTERN Australian sheep producers are being urged to get behind a sheep survey to help quantify the state’s billion dollar industry.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has released its latest survey that aims to provide an overview of flock dynamics, along with an understanding of producer intentions and practice change over time.
DPIRD development officer Katherine Davies said the information was vital in guiding future research and development programs to help support a progressive and thriving sheep industry.
“The department conducts a large producer survey in WA every few years on behalf of key national and state level projects.
“When the last survey was done in 2018, 63 per cent of respondents identified both wool and prime lamb as their primary enterprise, 27 per cent identified wool and 10 per cent prime lamb,” Ms Davies said.
“The average flock size had decreased to 4210 head, with half of respondents aiming to maintain flock size, while just over a third wanted to grow their flock.”
Ms Davies said DPIRD was now aiming to find out what changes had occurred in the sheep industry over the past four years.
“With high lamb and mutton prices but also rising input costs, 2022 is timely for examining not only the current state of the flock, but what producers’ priorities are for their enterprises in coming years,” she said.
“This year’s survey includes topical industry questions around carbon accounting, pasture production and land management.”
Producers are eligible to complete this survey if they have had more than 500 head of sheep at any stage in WA over the past year.
Survey questions relate to general flock demographics, breeding and selection, reproductive rates, use of labour-saving devices, participation in capability building activities and changes in management practices.
The survey should take about 25 minutes to complete. All information will remain anonymous, and a summary report of survey results will be provided. Completed surveys will also go in the draw to win one of five $100 fuel vouchers.
Producers may be contacted via telephone by independent market research company Ipsos or receive an email link from DPIRD to complete the survey.
Producers can also find the survey, along with previous survey reports, at the DPIRD website www.agric.wa.gov.au/sheep-survey
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