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Statement I Western Australia Producers Dry Season Taskforce Survey findings

29 May 2024

Sheep Producers Australia provided the Western Australia (WA) Dry Season Taskforce with the survey findings at its last meeting*. The survey was open from 26 April – 8 May 2024 and was completed by just under 650 producers, most of whom were from mixed livestock, grains, fodder, and hay enterprises in the south-west and south-coast.


The survey data is an important source of information to understand the impact the dry season and low market prices are having on WA livestock producers and their management decisions.


"The Taskforce was formed to coordinate the response to the current conditions, and it is crucial to gather an evidence base to support anecdotal information being received in order to deploy resources on-ground where they’re most needed." Ms Bonnie Skinner CEO Sheep Producers Australia.


Over 89% of respondents described their paddock feed supply as either bad or terrible, with 42% indicating they have feed on-farm to last until the seasons breaks and 39% able to access stock feed off-farm. 13% indicated they did not have any access to feedstocks.


“Unsurprisingly the greatest demand for feed was for roughage, including hay, silage or straw, and grains. More than half of the respondents indicated they would need financial assistance to purchase feed and/or water.” Ms Skinner.


Most respondents considered that, on average, people in their region were feeling either that they are doing it tougher than previous market downturns or doing it so tough that they are considering leaving the livestock industry.


Six key themes emerged when respondents were asked what the most important form of assistance was that the Dry Season Taskforce should be pushing for. These included feed, financial support and subsidies, freight, live export, livestock, markets and market access, support, and assistance – including education, training, and mental health support, water and others.


“Markets and market access were mentioned in terms of the expansion of abattoirs in WA and the government ensuring reasonable competition in the market for sheepmeat by maintaining the live export trade and ensuring enough buyers in the market.” Ms Skinner.

All respondents who requested follow up assistance have been contacted by Sheep Producers Australia.

*WA Dry Season Taskforce communique meeting #3 here and Survey findings available here.



Annie Frisch GM PR                                                                           

0455 999 130  

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