After erecting more than 100km of exclusion fencing, South West wool producer Donald Truss hopes to increase his flock from 9000 to 11,000 head.
It’s not the only positive news for the young man, who is the newest member of the Leading Sheep South West Committee.
Mr Truss, from south of Quilpie, joins six other regional producers of Leading Sheep South West, responsible for setting local priorities for the program.
He said his motivation for joining Leading Sheep stemmed from a desire to share his pest management experience and support other producers to adopt new business practices that maximise production.
“The wake-up call for my family came this time last year,” he said.
“We had had a couple of good years but dog numbers were high – when 10 to 20 dogs were being captured annually, we realised we needed to take urgent action if we wanted to maintain profitability.
“So in the past 12 months we have built 103km of exclusion fencing around the perimeter of our property and already we have seen a reduction in dog numbers.”
Mr Truss, with his wife Laura, manage two family properties, Boran, and neighbouring Wareo, for a total of 45,730 hectares of mulga country currently carrying around 9000 sheep and 500 cattle.
While the exclusion fencing upgrade represents a significant investment for the family, the young grazier believes it will bring major production advantages and protect his livestock for the next 80 years.
“Exclusion fencing will allow us to increase our flock size to 11,000 sheep and reduce our cattle numbers,” he said.
“Sheep are much more suited to the mulga country and are a more economical option for us..
“It has been a major financial investment in our future, but now that it is installed, I believe maintenance will be minimal and the production gains significant.”
As the family business shifts its focus to increasing wool production, Mr Truss is optimistic about the future of the Queensland sheep and wool industry.
Mr Truss said Leading Sheep ensured producers received the latest information on industry issues, as well as advice on new practices and technologies that would lead to long-term sustainability for the Queensland industry.
“It’s important that there is collaboration within the industry, and the south west committee is working hard to ensure they understand producer issues and can provide information that improves productivity and profitability,” he said.