Welcome back to Getting the Upper Land, where senior journalist Denis Howard and livestock editor Rebecca Nadge give a rundown of some of the stories featured in the paper. Making news this week:
The National Farmers' Federation has launched a new campaign, pushing back against numerous "anti-farming policies" by the Albanese government. The national campaign, Keep Farmers Farming, comes only weeks after a national survey of more than 1600 farmers revealed falling confidence in the farming sector and reservations about the approach of the Albanese government. Dunedoo mixed farmer Alison Kensit is not usually one to get embroiled in politics, but says the federal government's policies are being shaped by what might win votes instead of creating long-term, beneficial outcomes.
Cost cutting and maintaining breeding programs in dry times is among the list of priorities for producers across the state. The Land spoke to eight producers around the state about what they're focusing on for the next 12 months.
Beef and sheep processors across the country are ramping up their investment in accommodation in a bid to secure the labour they'll need to take on the increasing numbers of livestock coming down the pipeline. Most are finding opportunities to purchase existing establishments in town but some are also investigating building on-site accommodation or installing dongas. Processors say moving into the landlord business has become a necessity.
Genetic research and a coordinated response could be crucial to building resilience as the Australian honey bee industry learns to live with Varroa mite. The National Honeybee Genetic Improvement Program, or "Plan Bee", was launched in 2019, with the aim of improving Australia's honey bee stocks using genetic selection.
Funnel web spider venom is being used to produce an environmentally friendly insecticide. It is produced similarly to beer but it's been a long process to reach the scale needed for broadacre applications. Scientists based the idea of the premise that spiders had been killing insects for 400 million years.
An unlikely hero is emerging as a way to protect stock from wild dogs. Producers are using guardian donkeys as a way to safeguard their livelihoods. Over the years, Robinson Livestock has trucked about 700 donkeys from stations across the NT, WA and SA and sold them to homes across NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
A trip along the rugged backroads from Mt Hope to Pooncarie provided livestock editor Rebecca Nadge with some great timelapse footage and photos of the landscape. With stud stock sales quietening down, she's hoping to get out and about exploring NSW and writing about the experience.
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