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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2009-10
This is the result of five years of intensive investment in research and breeding initiatives across the country. It is indicative of the enormous and ongoing commitment of the industry to address this complex health and welfare problem and a further illustration of Australian sheep producers' investment in enhancing flystrike prevention alternatives. The research was funded by AWI and Meat and Livestock Australia, together with Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association and the Sheep CRC. Phase 1 of the EverGraze research and extension program, a partnership with the Future Farm Industries CRC and Meat & Livestock Australia, was completed. Planning for the next phase of research and extension activities is underway. EverGraze has been developing and testing new farming systems in different environments across the high rainfall zone of southern Australia. The target is to increase profitability by up to 50 per cent and at the same time improve water management, use of perennials, biodiversity and soil health. Over 13,500 people participated in the program, and approximately 3,300 producers adopted EverGraze principles. 130 knowledge products were developed, and there was engagement with 11 Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and a further six agribusiness groups. Skilled staff are seen by the Australian wool industry as being integral to the harvesting and preparation of the Australian wool clip. During 2009/10, AWI therefore funded training for improver' and professional shearers, as well as for novice and improver wool handlers. Provided by registered training organisations, the training focuses on shearers and wool handlers in the shed, particularly on increasing their productivity and skill development. 1392 shearers and 976 wool handlers have been trained directly through the AWI program in 2009/10, with an additional 251 participants who attended a shearing, wool handler or crutching workshop. In 2009/10, AWI continued its focus on reduced operating costs in shearer and wool handler training, to allow more of its funding to be targeted directly to the training. AWI's shearer and wool handler training program has aimed to: • help the wool harvesting industry ensure the availability of competent workers through the delivery of industry relevant training programs and credible skill assessment; • attract and retain new entrants; • build the capacity of existing workers; • increase the profitability of woolgrowers; and • maximise government funding and support for shearer and wool handler training. Improving the numbers, quality and productivity of shearers and wool handlers is a focus for AWI AWI has supported an integrated and co-ordinated national approach to develop and implement strategic landscape level control of wild dogs. Several initiatives have been undertaken by the Invasive Animals CRC and collaborators, with support from AWI. Seven local area planning groups have been established in the North Flinders ranges of South Australia. In Queensland, groups have been established in the Murweh and Balonne shires with local management plans developed. There have been several initiatives in Victoria, including community based management meetings in North East and Gippsland. Groups have also been established as part of a pilot trial with Victoria DPI. An agreement for four NSW wild dog control association plans has been negotiated. Regional planning for Southern Downs Shire (Qld) and Northern New England LHPA (NSW) has been agreed. In 2010/11, AWI will continue to invest in community development and review of landscape level wild dog management plans nationally. AWI will also invest in a demonstration site in Northern NSW and compile evidence for registration of aerial 1080 baiting rates. A new toxin option for control of wild dogs, and foxes, with improved target specificity and faster, more humane action is under development. One agent, para- aminopropiophenone (PAPP) has shown considerable promise. The submission process has commenced with the APVMA. An antidote compound has been developed for instances when baits are accidentally taken by working dogs. REPORT OF OPERATIONS -- ON-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2008-09
AWI Annual Report 2010-11