With most saleyards having last sales by mid December the livestock year is drawing to an end – and what a year it has been. Records have tumbled and those producers breeding cattle have been in that beautiful position of self-replacing stock while buyers have found deep pockets to keep pens and paddocks full. Solid winter rain in the state’s west has been a great change and here’s hoping to a wet summer across all of the state. All indicators are pointing to another strong year in 2017 if we can just get that magic stuff to fall from the sky on a regular basis.
2016 has been a big year not only price-wise but also with the tick line changes. July 1 signalled a new era for livestock moving across the line with some good welfare and cost outcomes, making it a little easier to move cattle and less unloading and reloading of stock. So far the integrity of the line remains in place and we are seeing more buyers accessing the ticky markets as a result.
Changes are on the way for how producers maintain their Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) Accreditation. As food producers, it is important that livestock farmers understand and implement the LPA requirements to help ensure food safety along the supply chain. To ensure this is the case, the LPA program is strengthening its processes for both accreditation and recommitment.
Becoming accredited with LPA mean that the producer agrees to abide by the LPA Rules and Standards, including the five core elements of LPA.
Producers will be asked to recommit to LPA and after January 1, 2017 will be required to complete a 10 question assessment. This will be the only way producers can maintain their LPA Accreditation and access National Vendor Declarations in both hard copy and electronically. People should access the MLA website at www.mla.com.au or call 1800 683 111 for more information.
The rest of Australia are watching on as Victoria is determined to progress the introduction or RFID in sheep. This will have far reaching consequences for cost of production, accuracy in lifetime traceability and animal welfare as sheep will need to be scanned and rescanned. It will be interesting to see how the introduction pans out and how movement of sheep across the border is managed. The potential is there to affect Queensland sheep producers in the future.
2017 holds some challenges for the livestock industry but also plenty of promise. We hope everyone has a safe and happy break over Christmas and New Year and that you receive all the rain you need when you need it. Here’s to good health, happiness and plenty of feed in 2017.