Annual Land and Stock Returns vital for market access
Submitted by Northern Tablelands Local Land Services
The value of Australian agricultural commodities is tipped to break another record this financial year. Cattle prices remain at a historically high level and wool, lamb and mutton prices are still strong. The latest wheat and barley harvests yielded record highs.
An essential part of maintaining strength in the agriculture sector is the continuation of market access and landholders across NSW play a very important role in this.
More than 9,627 land managers across the Northern Tablelands region who pay Local Land Services rates or have a Property Identification Code will soon receive their Annual Land and Stock Returns in a bid to build a statewide picture of agricultural use and livestock numbers.
These are among 150,000 annual returns across NSW that are due to be lodged by 31 August in a process that is essential for ensuring that domestic and export livestock markets remain open for NSW producers.
The returns are essentially a census for livestock on 30 June each year and include all stock six months of age or older, regardless of whether they belong to the landholder, are agisted or on the property for any other reason.
Northern Tablelands Local Land Services General Manager, Paul Hutchings, said it was important to complete an Annual Land and Stock Return - even if land managers have no stock.
“If the Annual Land and Stock Return isn’t lodged by 31 August, an animal health rate and meat industry levy will automatically be applied to next year’s rates notice,” Paul said.
Along with the stock identification and traceability systems Local Land Services manages, the information is invaluable in the event of an emergency disease outbreak, such as avian influenza or Hendra virus.
Effective animal biosecurity and welfare is insurance to maintain market access for livestock producers, now and in the future.
“NSW produce is free of many of the pests and diseases found in other parts of the world,” Paul said.
“That is why Local Land Services works with land managers to monitor herds and flocks and share up-to-date advice and information to increase productivity.
“In the Northern Tablelands region, the range of stock includes, but is not limited to cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs and horses.
“This information helps us go directly to the people whose land or stock may be affected in an emergency in our region.”
Pigs of any age should be counted, as well as flocks of 100 or more poultry.
Land managers can lodge their returns online at www.lls.nsw.gov.au
For more information land managers should contact their nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299 or visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au