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Combating Pimelea Poisoning in Cattle – What You Can Do To Help

The serious problem of seasonal Pimelea poisoning was highlighted amongst 150 producers attending the Landmark and Future Beef field day at Begonia in South West Queensland in 2016.

Drought followed by winter rain has resulted in the worst year within six years for the financial and emotional costs of losing stock to Pimelea poisoning, with impacts recorded across four adjoining States.

The cattle industry is now being called on to be involved in a collaborative project proposal to:

  • Develop rumen detox bacteria for Pimelea weed toxins
  • Test the efficacy of rumen toxin absorption compounds such as bentonite
  • Improve the uptake of best practice management, herbicide options and paddock identification of toxic Pimelea species (commonly known as flax weed and desert rice flower)

Be part of the solution

Industry support needs to be demonstrated through pledged cash and in-kind contributions to apply for an Australian Government grant available through AusIndustry Cooperative Research Projects and other grant opportunities.

Contributions could be cash from the sale of a beast to in-kind contributions, such as a willingness to collect Pimelea plant material, trial interim results or provide access to test cattle for rumen fluid samples and detox bacteria research.

The more project participants, the better, to highlight the importance of finding a solution to Pimelea toxicity issues causing St George, big head or Marree disease. 

To date, potential project partners and collaborators include the University of Queensland, AgForce Queensland, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Future Beef extension team, CSIRO, Maranoa Regional Council, Roma Saleyards, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Regional Beef Research Advisory Committees and affected graziers from Queensland and New South Wales.

For every $1 raised by industry and partners, the project can apply for matching AusIndustry grant dollars.  

Companies may be eligible for tax offset rebates for R&D contributions. The goal is a $1 million collaborative project over five years. The next round of AusIndustry CRC-Projects grants close in March 2017, therefore we need your immediate response for project support, pledges and/or to be part of a collaborative communication network.

To participate in the Pimelea communication network, pledge cash or in-kind, or for more information, please contact Marie Vitelli with your details through email at agforce@agforceqld.org.au

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