Sheep farmers have been urged to take advantage of Victorian Government grants for buying electronic sheep tag readers as part of the transition to compulsory National Livestock Identification Scheme.
About 30 farmers at last week’s Goorambat Lamb Group sheep handling demonstration at Kevin and Pat Mitchell’s property at Devenish were given a demonstration of a Gallagher three-way automatic sheep drafter fitted with the electronic tag reader.
Gallagher representative Hamish Burr told farmers there was still funding available through the government’s $750000 NLIS transition package, with offers a maximum $3000 grant with applicants funding 50 per cent of the cost.
‘‘There’s still money there. If every farmer who puts in an application gets his $3000 back, that’s around 230 farmers that are going to get a subsidy,’’ Mr Burr said.
‘‘I think 60 have been paid so far. If all of the farmers get, say, $1500 or thereabouts, it’s still 460 farmers that are going to get a subsidy so anyone who is thinking about getting into this sort of stuff, it’s worth at least getting your applications in and getting the ball rolling.
‘‘It’s first-in, best-dressed with the money, but unfortunately that’s it. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
‘‘With the current subsidies, all of these indicators (tag reader software), they’re all covered under the subsidies. Any readers, whether it’s a panel reader or whether it’s a wand.
‘‘Unfortunately, your auto drafters aren’t covered unless you’re in a group of three.’’
Funding applications will remain open until December 31 or until the funding allocation is exhausted, whichever happens first.
■ For more information, go to: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/national-livestock-identification-system/nlis-sheep-and-goats/electronic-identification-for-sheep-and-goats/transition-package#producers