14 Dec 2011

Unspent goat levies allocated to five projects

12:53 pm on 14 December 2011

Five projects to control internal parasites, or worms in goats will receive the lion's share of unspent goat levy money that Beef + Lamb New Zealand is distributing.

The organisation has $115,000 left over from levies that were collected from farmers who had goats processed at meat plants.

Farmers voted to stop paying a goat meat levy in a referendum held in 2009, when they also decided not to pay wool levies any longer.

Beef + Lamb farm manager Richard Wakelin says an industry review panel has chosen five projects to spread the money around.

More than $90,000 will go to three projects focusing on dealing with worms in goats, including "Wormwise for goats" which will try to ensure goat farmers have good information so they can make the right decisions on farms.

Mr Wakelin says another project focuses on improving the farmability of goats by reducing the cost of parasites.

He says that will build on work that's been done with the CARLA saliva test for sheep.

Feral goat grant

But a Taranaki vet who's developing a set of practical guidelines for feral goats will also receive a grant of $7500.

Mr Wakelin says most of the goat meat processed in New Zealand comes from goats running semi-wild on farms.

Meat Goat New Zealand, a group representing farmers and other goat industry representatives, also gets a $14,00 grant.

Manager Wayne Anderson says one of its goals is to improve breeding for meat production.

He says goat meat production is still at a very low level, and there's been little incentive to increase production and marketing efforts.

Federated Farmers goat group chair John Woodward also sees potential for goat farming to become a much larger industry, with a world shortage of mohair fibre and the prospect of increasing prices for goat meat as well.