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Rural News

Third biggest lamb production quarter on record

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Third biggest lamb production quarter on record

Key points:

  • Continuation of above average rainfall for most livestock regions resulted in high carcase weights overall.
  • Supply is increasing and is being driven by the national herd rebuild and flock growth.
  • Record value of production figures for the cattle industry, driven by high cattle prices.

On Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the official livestock and production figures for the second quarter of 2022. The data also provided insights on slaughter, production, value and carcase weight for sheep and cattle for the 2022 financial year.

Gross value of livestock

The value of cattle slaughtered in FY2022 was a new financial record totalling $14.48b AUD, this was $2.2b higher than the value of cattle slaughtered in FY2021. Q2 of 2022 recorded the highest value of cattle slaughtered ever, hitting $3.85b for the quarter and 20% higher than Q2 2021.

High livestock prices were behind the record value of livestock slaughtered in FY22. The average price of cattle being slaughtered in FY22 was $2,457.82, 25.7% higher than FY21 prices.

In sheep, the value of lambs and sheep slaughtered in FY22 was $5,13b. This figure is 14.5% above the value of sheep and lambs slaughtered in FY21.

Q2 FY22 (October to December 2021) was the quarter recording the highest value of sheep and slaughtered ever. The average price for a finished lamb/sheep in FY22 was $189.39, up 10.5% on 2021.

Cattle

Slaughter

As calves born in 2020 and early 2021 reached processing weights in 2022, Q2 of this year saw an increase in slaughter volumes of 11.2% quarter-on-quarter, with 1.49m head processed. The biggest jump in quarterly slaughter was in Tasmania, increasing by 13.4%, followed by Queensland, which was up 13.2%.

For FY22 Australian cattle slaughter was 5.89m, this is 6.6% below the 2021 levels. Queensland was responsible for 47.7% of all cattle slaughtered last financial year.

Carcase weights

According to Stephen Bignell, Manager – Market Information at Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), continued strong seasonal conditions, improved genetics across the national herd and strong on-farm management has helped carcase weights to remain at historically high levels.

“Carcase weights across the country are averaging 317.6kg/head. This is the second highest carcase weights ever, only behind the record previous quarter.

“National male carcase weights rose by 600g to a new record of 348.5kg, driven by jumps in Victorian, Western Australian and South Australian male carcase weights. However, the increased volumes of females slaughtered prevented the national carcase weights reaching record levels.

“A softening in average carcase weights for cattle is not uncommon through the Australian winter. This has been particularly relevant in 2022 with wet and cool conditions affecting livestock’s’ ability to gain or maintain weight,” Mr Bignell said.

Beef production

With increased higher slaughter numbers and only slightly lower carcase weights, beef production rose by 9% quarter-on-quarter to 473,394 tonnes but was softer year-on-year.

“Overall, with carcase weights remaining high and forecast actual cattle supply to increase into the end of 2022 and beyond, the Australian beef industry is well positioned to capture emerging opportunities both domestically and globally,” Mr Bignell said.

Lambs 

Lamb production

In Q2 of 2022, lamb production was 140,165 tonnes, the third highest quarterly volume on record, behind Q2 2018 and Q4 2016. The quarterly total of 140,165 tonnes was a 12.5% increase on Q1 2022 levels and 1.8% higher than the same quarter in 2021.

Lamb slaughter

Lamb slaughter for Q2 was recorded at 5.44m, an increase of 9.5% on the previous quarter and 1.1% higher than the June 2021 quarter. For the full financial year, lamb slaughter nationally stood at 20.8m lambs.

“The fact that lamb slaughter for Q2 2022 was not within in the historical top 20 lamb slaughter volumes, but was the third highest level of production, shows the benefits of increasing carcase weights,” according to Mr Bignell.

Lamb carcase weight

“The implementation of new genetics, well managed on-farm production and above average rainfall patterns have ensured national lamb carcase weights achieved record highs in Q2 2022.

At 25.8kg/head, this is a 0.6% increase year-on-year levels, demonstrating that genetic improvement and management is driving increased efficiencies and production for the national lamb flock,” Mr Bignell said.

New South Wales lambs are weighing 26.8kg/head on average, leading the trend for heavier lambs nationally, they are followed by South Australian lambs at 26.7kg/head.

Sheep

Slaughter

Unlike lambs and cattle, sheep slaughter fell in Q2 2022, reducing by 13.2% or 209,600 head. According to Mr Bignell however, a drop in slaughter in the June quarter is common as producers are retaining ewes for lambing during this period.

“Encouragingly, when compared to the corresponding June period in 2021, mutton slaughter is up 27% or close to 300,000 head. This would suggest the flock rebuild is maturing and in line with MLA’s most recent June sheep projections,” Mr Bignell said.

Production

Production of mutton was recorded at 35,091 tonnes, a 11.3% reduction on the previous quarter but 25% higher than 2021 levels. As mutton production fell by less than the fall in slaughter, carcase weights climbed.

Carcase weights

National sheep carcase weights for Q2 2022 were recorded at 25.5kg/head, a 500g increase on Q1 2022 levels but well below the 2.2kg/head below the highs recorded in December 2021.

“Interestingly, the average carcase weights for sheep are below that of lambs on a national level. Sheep in New South Wales are the heaviest weighting 27.3kg, while sheep in Tasmania are the lightest weighing 19.5kg/head,” Mr Bignell said.

Goats

In FY22 goatmeat production jumped 47% to 24,091 tonnes. In FY22 production in all states except Tasmania jumped by at least 41%, with Western Australian production growing by 3,538% year-on-year.

Goat slaughter was up 52% in FY22 to 1.46m head. Production growth was slightly less than the growth in slaughter supply as goat carcase weights continued to soften marginally.

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Foot-and-Mouth Disease Case Numbers Stabilise in Indonesia

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Case Numbers Stabilise in Indonesia

 

The incidence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia has stabilised, with daily reported cases decreasing from over 12,000 during the peak of the outbreak in mid-2022 to approximately 25 per day currently.

Effective from June 4, 2024, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will align biosecurity measures for travellers arriving from Indonesia with those applicable to other countries.

Deputy Secretary of Biosecurity, Operations and Compliance, Justine Saunders APM, stated that the department has been closely monitoring the FMD situation since the outbreak began in May 2022.

“FMD case numbers in Indonesia have stabilized and are now comparable to the 70 other countries where FMD is present,” said Ms. Saunders.

“Following revised scientific risk assessments, the department will remove some biosecurity measures at the Australian border that have been in place for travellers from Indonesia since mid-2022.

“Travelers arriving from Indonesia will now be subject to the same biosecurity controls as those from any other FMD-affected country.

“While sanitation foot mats will no longer be used for flights arriving from Indonesia, heightened biosecurity measures will remain for all international flights.”

These measures include:

  • Increased use of detector dogs trained to identify biosecurity risks.
  • Enhanced screening with 2D x-ray technology and trials with advanced 3D x-rays.
  • Real-time risk assessments conducted by Australian biosecurity officers.
  • Targeted communication and increased signage to inform travellers.

Ms. Saunders emphasised that managing risks at the Australian border is part of a broader effort to enhance regional biosecurity.

“Australia continues to support our neighbouring countries and key trading partners in addressing animal disease challenges,” Ms. Saunders said.

“The Australian Government’s support for Indonesia’s FMD response included providing 4 million vaccine doses and training over 100 Indonesian quarantine officers through the Biosecurity Training Centre at Charles Sturt University.

“This support has been pivotal in Indonesia’s effective response to FMD and has reinforced our national biosecurity system.

“Thanks to our robust biosecurity protocols, effective management in Indonesia, and the vigilance of incoming traveller’s, Australia remains free from FMD.”

Fast Facts

  • Sanitation foot mats, introduced at international airports in July 2022 and cruise terminals in September 2022, will no longer be used for travellers from Indonesia starting June 4, 2024.
  • Non-compliance with biosecurity requirements can result in penalties, including fines up to $6,260 and visa cancellations.
  • Since 2022, detector dogs have been trained to identify additional FMD risk products, which will continue to be targeted.
  • Ongoing enhanced measures to address global biosecurity risks include:
    • Real-time risk assessments by biosecurity officers, including post-arrival risk indicators and targeted questioning of travellers.
    • Application of biosecurity profiles to identify high-risk traveller’s, mail, and goods.
    • Referral of high-risk passengers and mail for biosecurity screening.
    • Continued screening with 2D x-ray technology and trials with advanced 3D x-rays.
    • Expanded deployment of detector dogs at all major international airports and mail facilities.
    • Targeted communication and engagement to raise awareness of biosecurity risks and import requirements.

The Australian Government has committed over $10 million to support Indonesia’s response to the FMD outbreak.

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Discover Ag Sydney: Spotlighting Careers in the Australian Agriculture Industry

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Discover Ag Sydney: Spotlighting Careers in the Australian Agriculture Industry

 

Australia’s largest agricultural careers expo, Discover Ag, is set to take place at Sydney Showground on Wednesday, 26th June. This event aims to showcase the vast array of career opportunities available within one of Australia’s largest and most vital industries.

A Gateway to Diverse Career Paths

Discover Ag is designed to expose students in years 9 to 12 to the multitude of career paths available in agriculture through interactive learning activations. The event will feature over 50 career options, dispelling the common misconception that a career in agriculture is limited to farming. Attendees will have the chance to meet professionals from various fields including data science, engineering, mechanics, animal and soil science, primary production, and marketing, all of whom contribute to the dynamic and expanding agricultural industry.

Promoting Agricultural Education and Careers

RAS Education Manager Duncan Kendall expressed his enthusiasm for unveiling Discover Ag 2024, inviting students from across New South Wales to explore the diverse career opportunities in agriculture.

“We are thrilled to bring Discover Ag to Sydney this June and highlight the incredible range of careers available within the agricultural sector,” Kendall said.

“The event, previously known as AgVision, plays an instrumental role in connecting students with organisations and individuals working within the industry. It provides students with a unique opportunity to explore and engage with a variety of careers.”

Kendall emphasised that while working on the land remains a key aspect of agriculture, the industry also offers numerous opportunities in finance, science, engineering, technology, and communications. “Whether you are interested in finance, science, engineering, technology, or communications, there is an opportunity for you to work within an industry that clothes, feeds, and nourishes our nation,” he said.

A Mission to Educate and Inspire

As a not-for-profit agricultural organisation, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) aims to educate the community about the importance of agriculture in Australia. Kendall noted that Discover Ag continues the educational mission of the RAS, which is well-known for its Sydney Royal Easter Show.

“I encourage any student interested in exploring career options within agriculture or any student still searching for their passion to join us in June to learn more about this vital and growing sector,” Kendall added.

Event Details

  • When: Wednesday, 26th June 2024, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
  • Cost: $15
  • Where: Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.
  • Who: Secondary school students, TAFE students, and university students. Students can attend individually outside of school, TAFE, or university, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Learn More and Register

To learn more about Discover Ag or to book tickets, visit www.rasnsw.com.au/education.

About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW

Discover Ag is organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS), which has been promoting and supporting Australian agriculture since 1822. The RAS is renowned for organising the iconic Sydney Royal Easter Show, and through Discover Ag, it continues its mission to educate and inspire the next generation about the opportunities within the agricultural sector.

Conclusion

Discover Ag Sydney provides a unique platform for students to explore the diverse and exciting career opportunities within the agricultural industry. By attending, students will gain valuable insights and be inspired to consider a future in a sector that plays a crucial role in sustaining and enriching the nation.

 

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Demand for Fodder Remains High Despite Recent Rainfall

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Demand for Fodder Remains High Despite Recent Rainfall

 

Recent rainfall across four states has not reduced the high demand for fodder needed to support drought-affected livestock.

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, reported that farmers were immensely relieved by the recent rains, particularly in south-western Western Australia, which had been experiencing its driest conditions on record.

“This rain could not have come at a better time given the circumstances producers had in front of them,” said Rural Aid CEO John Warlters.

“But we don’t expect the demand for fodder, or the challenge in sourcing it, to change in the short to medium term.”

Many farming families, having received only light relief, still hope for more rain in the coming weeks.

Large areas of Victoria remain exceptionally dry, with autumn rainfall among the lowest 10% on record for the south-west, west, north-east, and East Gippsland. South Australia has seen some relief with average falls between five to 15mm but remains parched.

“Rural Aid continues to be active right across the country at this time, providing hay for livestock, drinking water, and financial relief,” Mr. Warlters added.

“Our counsellors are particularly active, providing one-on-one support and attending various industry events to ensure they are visible and easily accessible to anyone who wants to chat.”

In the past month, Rural Aid coordinated 29 fodder drops across the country.

Western Australia:
Funded in part by the Cook Government, Rural Aid delivered stock feed, hay, water tanks, emergency household drinking water, and counselling support. They connected with farmers and families at drought resilience events in Yornup and Manjimup.

South Australia:
A series of hay drops over multiple weeks have been scheduled, with the most recent drop at Quorn on Monday (June 3). Further drops are planned, pending additional rain and continued access to fodder.

Victoria/NSW:
Rural Aid counsellors continue to provide wellbeing support while discussions with industry stakeholders are ongoing to determine how Rural Aid can best support farmers beyond its traditional service delivery.

Queensland:
Producers impacted by late 2023 bushfires across the Southern and Western Darling Downs are receiving support with hay and counselling. Additionally, 30 volunteers recently spent a week working on nine properties in and around Tara.

Mr. Warlters emphasised that Rural Aid heavily relies on community and corporate support to fund its activities and is encouraging tax-time donations to sustain its efforts.

“With June 30 just around the corner, now is an opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation in support of Rural Aid and ‘our mates in the bush’ – the farming families that need our help.”

 

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