Goat game changer

Goat game changer

A game changer for the goat industry has seen the formation of a forecasting committee, which has projected an estimated 2.0 to 2.25 million goats will be supplied for processing nationally in the 2017- 2018 financial year.

Created through a Meat & Livestock Australia and NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) co-funded project, the new committee aims to better target markets by improving the industry’s understanding of the projected goat population and supply changes.

NSW DPI project leader, Trudie Atkinson, said goat industry intelligence, the latest data, including a NSW goat meat production survey, and forecast modelling were used to develop the twelve-month outlook.

“The committee projected the goat population is likely to remain stable or slightly increase,” Ms Atkinson said.

“Office of Environment and Heritage’s 2016 aerial survey indicates the goat population is 5.8 million in central and western NSW, an area covering 450,000 square kilometres.

“The population has been trending upward since 1999 and figures from the 2017 aerial survey will improve our understanding of the current population.”

Goat Industry Council of Australia president and Forecasting Committee member, Rick Gates, said the committee analysed positive and negative factors to build its capacity to recognise and interpret influences which impact on population and supply.

“Producer reports of lower goat numbers, reduced harvest turn-off in some areas, low minimum carcase weights and dry seasonal conditions were considered,” Mr Gates said.

“An increased distribution of goats, steady growth of semi-managed enterprises, improved harvest efficiency and investment in infrastructure are all positive influences.”

NSW figures played an important role in developing the national forecast, supported by National Livestock Identification System Ltd figures, which indicated 68 per cent of goats processed were from NSW.

The NSW goat production survey was informed by 44 percent of the 1100 producers surveyed, reflecting the enthusiasm of the industry to boost its collective intelligence.

NSW DPI is leading the project with leading research scientists, economists and key service agencies from NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia working to boost access to reliable data and forecast models for the Australian goat industry.

Source: NSW DPI

Image: Goat industry forecasting committee and research support from NSW DPI, QLD DAF, Goat Industry and NSW Farmers Assoc., MLA, S.A Department of Environment, Water & Natural Resources. Image provided by the NSW DPI