A survey of Western Australian grain/seed/hay growers was undertaken to ascertain industry views on the operation of the Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme (IFS) and its Management Committee. A total of 180 responses were received from growers across the agricultural area.
The majority of respondents (77%) felt that the Western Australian grain/seed/hay industry needed an industry scheme to address pests and diseases. However, the responses regarding the current direction of the scheme were mixed — approximately half felt that three-horned bedstraw was a priority issue to be targeted by the scheme, whilst about 70% felt that skeleton weed was a priority issue for the scheme. Approximately 20% of respondents did not think skeleton weed or bedstraw were priority issues.
The majority of respondents (68%) did not believe, at that point in time, there were other pests/diseases that should be addressed by the scheme. Of the pests/diseases that were identified for potential inclusion in the scheme, most were species that are not eligible for IFS-funding.
The majority (62%) of respondents believed that the IFS is capably managed by the Management Committee. Approximately one half believed that the IFS annual reports provide sufficient information on the operation of the scheme and that the level of industry engagement was appropriate.
The survey results suggest:
- Industry sees value in having a scheme for the grains/seeds/hay industry.
- Most of the industry view skeleton weed as a priority to be addressed via the scheme.
- There is uncertainty of the priority of three-horned bedstraw as a biosecurity risk to the industry.
- A relatively large number of growers do not think the scheme is addressing the industry’s priority biosecurity issues (approximately one-fifth of survey respondents).
- Industry understanding of the purpose and operation of the scheme is questionable — evidenced by respondents not knowing if they were scheme participants, the types of pests/diseases respondents felt that the scheme should target, specific comments made by respondents regarding the level of industry understanding, and the number of ‘unsure’ responses to questions.
- Annual reporting needs to be reviewed to ensure sufficient information on the operation of the scheme and promotion of the reports to industry.
- The level of industry engagement in the scheme requires review to identify the appropriate engagement level.
The full report can be downloaded from the link on the right.