Research into Pimelea Cattle Poisoning Underway

A major research project to overcome Pimelea plant poisoning in cattle will now get underway after AgForce successfully negotiated a funding model for the project with Meat and Livestock Australia.

Fluid swelling in jaw _neck_brisket_Pimelea clinical symptoms

Fluid swelling in jaw -neck-brisket. Pimelea clinical symptoms

40 Western Queensland producers had joined together to pledge cash and in-kind support for Pimelea research, which had helped leverage co-matching funding from Meat and Livestock Australia’s Donor Company.

AgForce General President Grant Maudsley say this is a brand-new way for grass roots producers to drive research and development to deliver solutions to a major problem affecting their industry.

“While an initial funding application was unsuccessful because the Producer Innovation Fast Track grant program was oversubscribed, we are extremely grateful to MLA for being flexible and coming up with the Donor Company funds to ensure this vital research can now go ahead.

Pimelea simplex infestation

Pimelea simplex infestation

Mr Maudsley says primary producers across Australia had lost hundreds of cattle to Pimelea poisoning in recent years, and the problem was getting worse.

“Pimelea is a native, toxic plant that occurs over one third of Australia’s pastoral area across five states causing seasonal cattle deaths, reduced weight gain in surviving cattle and rendering large pasture areas too risky for grazing.”

“Graziers, stock agents, agribusinesses and councils between Winton in Queensland to the Broken Hill region in New South Wales desperately want answers to reduce the financial and emotional impacts of Pimelea, and this research project is the first step in that process.”

The initial research project will run until December 2017 and will focus on developing a probiotic microbe, in the form of a drench, that can degrade the toxin in the rumen before it affects the small intestine. Options to fund additional Pimelea research beyond 2017 will be pursued in coming months.