The Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee has recommended that the current contribution rates continue in 2014/15 to fund programs to control skeleton weed and eradicate three-horned bedstraw.
Funding Scheme chairman Barry Large said contributions to the Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme were made on the sale of produce which meant the funding available to address the priority biosecurity issues was dependent on the amount of produce sold each year.
“Last year’s bumper harvest put the Scheme in a position where it can continue the current programs at no additional cost to producers,” Mr Large said.
“The contributions made by growers during 2013/14 have boosted the level of funds the industry has to tackle our priority biosecurity issues,” he said.
“However, given that an average grain harvest of about 10 million tonnes wouldn’t raise the funds required for our current programs to address skeleton weed and bedstraw, we rely on the good years to balance out the bad,” he said.
Mr Large said late last year, the Committee surveyed 470 grain, seed and hay growers and found the majority wanted to continue funding a program to address skeleton weed.
“The survey was prompted by the realisation that the current producer contributions would need to increase if the program was to continue in its current form,” he said.
“For 2014/15, grain, seed and hay growers in the agricultural areas of the State will continue to contribute 30 cents for every tonne of grain and seed they sell and 15 cents per tonne of hay.”
Producers have the opportunity to opt-out of the Scheme however they would lose all entitlements to assistance and compensation under the Scheme and would be required to manage the biosecurity issues at their own expense.
Producers who wish to opt-out of the Industry Funding Schemes in 2014/15 must notify the Department of Agriculture and Food by submitting a 2014/2015 Notice of Opt-Out form before 30 June 2014.
More information about the process and conditions attached to opting-out of the Schemes and the opt-out form are available on the Department of Agriculture and Food website here.