Queensland sheep industry continues to rebuild

Agforce Sheep and Wool Committee 2017

AgForce Sheep and Wool and WoolProducers Australia Board Member, Jim McKenzie

 

The most recent Agricultural Census saw Queensland take the mantle as the nation’s most valuable agricultural state, and while beef is our biggest commodity, many  primary producers in pastoral areas are moving back into sheep.

The revitalisation of Queensland’s sheep and wool industry this year has come on the back of the Government(s) financially-backed opportunity to build exclusion fences, that has provided producers with greater control of wild dogs, and therefore improved producer confidence to run a sheep and wool enterprise.

More than 200,000 head of sheep have been added to the state’s flock as more than 7500 kilometre of fencing is built throughout regional communities.

 

For producers who have built fences, the results have been amazing with lambing percentages going from less than 20 per cent to more than 90 per cent.

AgForce is extremely grateful for the Federal and State Government funding to date, and was pleased to see that during the recent State Election campaign, both sides of politics supported the continued roll out of cluster fencing.

While the re-elected Palaszczuk Government’s commitment of $5 million over two years is welcome, we’d like to see an ongoing, annual commitment of $5 million to meet the enormous demand from producers and get the job done once and for all.

The AgForce Sheep & Wool Board had three very successful

 

Board meetings this year with two of these being in Charleville in July and Blackall in October.  A great way for Board Members to speak with grass-roots sheep producers to seek opinions and disseminate industry information.  In doing so, we have taken the opportunity to speak about shearer and shed-hand training, and encourage Queensland’s sheep producers to accurately complete the National Wool Declaration, the National Vendor Declaration and the National Sheep Health Declaration.

All of these documents form vital parts of a sheep enterprise’s ability to demonstrate good product integrity for the end user of our products, while also ensuring good on-farm

biosecurity practices to prevent the spread of disease.  Biosecurity planning workshops have also been a large part of AgForce’s decree this past 8 months, where 5,000 cattle and sheep producers across the State were engaged at approximately 35 workshops.

Finally, if we get some rain in Queensland’s drought declared areas, commodity prices stay strong and exclusion fencing continues to roll out, more and more broadacre primary producers will gain the confidence to run a sheep and wool enterprise once again.

As Queensland’s sheep numbers rebuild, we will help boost Queensland’s regional communities, bringing renewed prosperity and much needed increased employment opportunities.