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Beyond the Bale : March 2018
After erecting more than 100km of exclusion fencing, woolgrower Donald Truss from South West Queensland hopes to increase his flock from 9,000 to 11,000 head. It’s not the only positive news for the young man, who is the newest member of the South West Committee of AWI’s Queensland grower network Leading Sheep. Donald, 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 wild dog numbers were high – when 10 to 20 wild 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 our wild dog control has seen a reduction in wild dog numbers.” Donald, with his wife Laura, manage two family properties, ‘Boran’ and neighbouring ‘Wareo’, with a total of 45,730 hectares of Mulga country currently carrying around 9,000 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 profitable 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, Donald is optimistic about the future of the Queensland sheep and wool industry. Donald 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 – one of three regional committees in Leading Sheep – is working hard to ensure they understand producer issues and can provide information that improves productivity and profitability,” he said. MORE INFORMATION www.leadingsheep.com.au EXCLUSION FENCING ENABLING STOCK INCREASES Woolgrower Donald Truss, who has installed a 100km exclusion fence around his property, has joined AWI’s Leading Sheep grower network in Queensland so he can share his pest management experience with other producers. Wool producer Donald Truss from Toompine, south of Quilpie, with his son Henry and a stretch of the wild dog exclusion fencing on his property. 44 ON FARM
In the Shops - March 2018