Around the Camp: Drought reforms, Carbon Neutral Network, SRW and Flood assistance

  1. Drought assistance changes
  2. Register for the Carbon Neutral Grazier Network
  3. What’s your SRW?
  4. Flood assistance currently available 
  5. Upcoming Leading Sheep events
  6. Upcoming events
  7. eBulletins and podcasts


1. Changes to drought assistance in Queensland

Late in 2021, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) announced new drought assistance which includes a suite of measures including workshops and one-to-one assistance with business planning, and a range of new grant and loan schemes, some of which do not require producers to be drought declared in order to access.

For areas of Queensland still drought declared, the existing Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS) still applies. However, it’s important to understand that by successfully accessing some of the new drought assistance, for example the Drought Preparedness Grant, you will no longer be able to access DRAS assistance. This was recently reiterated in an article in the Queensland Country Life (read the full article here).

Producers with questions around their eligibility or suitability for either the new or existing programs, are encouraged to get in touch either with your local DAF extension officer, or local rural financial counsellor. Northern producers can find their local counsellor via the North Qld Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) website here, and those in southern areas can identify theirs via the Southern Qld RFCS website here.

Upcoming events related to the new drought program will be included in forthcoming newsletters.

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2. Registrations open for the Carbon Neutral Grazier Network

Interested in receiving the latest tips and information on positioning your business to take advantage of the rapidly evolving world of environmental markets and certification schemes?

Still actually trying to get your head around what an environmental market and/or certification scheme actually is?

In either case, the Carbon Neutral Grazier Network is for you. 

Members from across Australia will receive quarterly updates on the latest initiatives, research findings, links to relevant and scientifically verified media articles and the opportunity to be involved in future research projects. Members are also encouraged to share their experiences, ask questions, and learn from each other’s experiences.

More information can be found here, or to register now, visit here.

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3. Do you know your Standard Reference Weight?

Standard Reference Weights (SRW) is the liveweight of a fully grown, bare-shorn, non-pregnant sheep in condition score three (CS3) with no gut fill (i.e. empty).

SRW’s vary between flocks depending on the frame and size of your mature ewes, which is why it’s important to know the SRW for your own flock.  It has many uses within the flock, however it’s particularly important in understanding the benchmark liveweight for maiden ewes, with maidens found to have better lifetime reproductive performance if they are joined at around 80% of their SRW – refer Tool 10.5 and Module 10.4: Wean More Lambs of the Making More from Sheep guide.

A guide to calculating your SRW is available on the AWI website here.

If you would like assistance in calculating your SRW, that’s what an extension officer is for! Get in touch with your local Leading sheep extension officer here.

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4. From drought to flooding rain…

Producers adversely affected in the recent South-East Queensland flood event (22 Feb – 7 Mar 2022), which includes the local government areas of Southern Downs and Toowoomba Regional, are eligible to apply for grants of up to $75,000 to hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, replace fencing and other costs associated with the recovery process. More information on this scheme can be found here. Assistance is also available for small business and non-profits.

In addition, applications remain open until 30 June 2022 for producers affected by the Central, Southern and Western Qld rainfall event (10 Nov – 3 Dec 2021) which includes local government areas such as Goondiwindi, Southern Downs, Toowoomba Regional, and Western Downs, amongst others. Grants of up to $50,000 are available in relation to this event, with more information on this scheme to be found here. Assistance is also available for small business.

As with any grant program, make sure to read the guidelines first, and if unsure about your eligibility, contact QRIDA on Freecall 1800 623 946.

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5. Upcoming Leading Sheep events

  • Thursday 24th March: Interactive Worm Workshop with Dr Noel O’Dempsey, Nobby. Sold out.
  • Friday 25 March: Leading Sheep MeatUp Forum and Dinner, Longreach. For more information and to register click here.

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6. Upcoming events

  • Wednesday 23rd March: Agforce Industry Update, Charleville. For more information, and to register, visit here.
  • Wednesday 23rd & 24th March: Agribusiness Summit, Goondiwindi. Delivered by Macintyre Ag Alliance, for more information and to register click here.
  • Wednesday 6th to 8th April: MLA’s Nutrition EDGE, Blackall. Delivered by Desiree Jackson Livestock Management. For more information visit the MLA event page here.
  • Friday 8th April: The Bev Rea Sheep and Wool Junior Judging Workshop, Muttaburra Showgrounds. Free workshop for 8-14yo and 15-25yo. Contact Sarah Fysh ( or Katie Webb ( for more details.
  • Friday 8th April: Optimising Reproductive Rates in Pastoral Sheep Flocks with Geoff Duddy, Brewarrina. For more information visit the MLA event page here.
  • Wednesday 27th April: The importance of trace minerals for ewes at lambing with Colin Trengove (webinar).  Part of MLA’s ‘Productivity & Profitability Series’, register for the series here.
  • June 6 to 8: MerinoLink Conference 2022, Wagga Wagga. For more information, visit here.

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7. Podcast, eBulletin and surveys

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