Eagerly awaited goat industry data in a report analysing rangeland goat population figures shows numbers have declined from a record high of 5.7 million in 2016 to 3.4 million in 2017.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) report, based on figures from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) 2017 aerial survey of central and western NSW, confirms goat industry observations on the ground.
Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA) president, Rick Gates, said the report reflected industry expectations.
“From my observations I expected numbers to be down by 20 or 30 percent, so I wasn’t surprised,” Mr Gates said.
“On a positive note, NSW DPI is working closely with industry and these results build goat industry confidence in the data collection, which is used by the newly-formed Goat Industry Forecasting Committee.”
Created through a Meat & Livestock Australia and NSW DPI co-funded project, the committee aims to improve industry’s understanding of projected goat populations and supply changes.
NSW DPI senior research scientist and report author, Steven McLeod, said updated survey techniques and modern technology have boosted the accuracy of results.