Expand your horizons by watching a webinar or listening to a podcast

Due to COVID-19 restrictions there has been a shift from face-to-face learning experiences to on-line webinars or podcasts.  Many organisations have uploaded webinars that might be of interest to our readers:

  • The FutureBeef website have uploaded a number of recordings from webinars held in June. Events planned for August can be seen here.
  • The Leading Sheep website provides links to a number of webinars/you tube videos for sheep producers (aimed at the Queensland sheep industry but would have broader reference). Past webinars can be found here while future events are listed here.
  • Meat & Livestock Australia have released a series of Productivity and Profitability webinars designed to assist Sheep, Cattle and Goat producers across Australia to increase the productivity and profitability of their businesses.
  • Looking at wider issues, Earthwatch has released a Science Matters Webinar Series which looks at a number of topics such as global emergencies, climate science at the edge of the Artic and the insect apocalypse.
  • Washington State University Extension has uploaded some new content to its ‘Art of Range’ podcast including talks about women in ranching, livestock-predator interactions and socio-ecological systems. You can also subscribe to this podcast so that you never miss an episode!


First sterile Leucaena trial seedlings planted in the north

The first seedlings from a research project to develop a sterile leucaena variety were recently transplanted at secure sites at Carnarvon, Broome and Kununurra recently. Leucaena is a genetically diverse Central American legume fodder tree with many species, including Leucaena leucocephala, which is grown for cattle feed in many tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, such as Queensland.

The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working on the plant breeding project to develop a leucaena variety that is sterile or without seeds, which poses much less weed risk to the environment.

More information about this project is available from the DPIRD website.


South Australia’s kangaroo harvest expansion supports job growth

Environment SA reports that since the kangaroo commercial harvest zone was expanded on 1 January this year, there has been an increase in kangaroo field processors by 24 per cent. This expansion of the harvest zone has helped mitigate the impact of drought starved kangaroo populations migrating further south in search of water and pastures and has also increased the opportunity to use kangaroo carcasses for meat and leather products.  Read more on the Environment SA News board.


BeefLinks partnership to boost red meat industry

A four-year partnership between The University of Western Australia and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) through the MLA Donor Company (MDC) has been launched to coordinate and drive an integrated research and practice change program for the West Australian Beef Industry.

The partnership, BeefLinks, aims to enhance the red meat value chain through a greater understanding of efficient use of farm resources, better use of grazing mosaics, and the production of cattle that reach and exceed domestic and export ready standards.  More information is available from Meat & Livestock Australia.


Northern fire indicator website receives funding boost

Beef Central reports that the Federal Government has committed to spending $729,006 to ensure the North Australia & Rangelands Fire Information (NAFI) service can continue through the 2020/21 fire season. This service provides information on fuel loads, hot spots and fire scar histories to help land managers prepare for and manage fires. The website recorded more than one million hits per month last fire season.


Do working dogs make the best employees?

ABC Rural news recently published a light-hearted story about the value of working dogs on properties, focussing on Border Collies on a cattle property south-west of Rockhampton.  This is a good news story that should brighten your day.


Latest WA Sheep Industry snapshot released

Sheepmeat exports from Western Australia reached record values in 2019, according to the latest sheep industry snapshot from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.  There was a 12 per cent increase in the volume of lamb and mutton exports compared with the previous year with exports reaching 84.1 million kilograms and worth a record $596.6 million.  Further details are available from WA DPIRD media release and the latest issue of Sheep Notes.


Invasive species news

The latest issue of the CISS Chronicle from the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions provides updates on a number of projects including:

  • The National Wild Dog Action Plan – recently released their 2020-2030 plan of attack
  • Wild DogScan – which just reached the milestone of 100,000 community records of wild dog activity entered across Australia
  • The Federal inquiry into the problem of feral and domestic cats in Australia
  • New National Wildlife Biosecurity Guidelines