Pimelea Plant Poisoning of Cattle – working towards research solutions

Research into reducing the impact of Pimelea toxicity needs to commence now.  Seasonal conditions since 2015 have triggered abundant plants across central Australia.  Cattle losses and clinical signs of toxicity are high in south west Queensland. 

If you are concerned about Pimelea weed, please join the collaborative network of producers and businesses backing a research project examining how to combat this toxic weed.

The goal is a $1 million research project over three years to investigate:-
  1. Rumen de-tox bacteria.
  2. Rumen absorption compounds.
  3. Improved management of Pimelea in pasture.
Potential research project partners, to date, include the University of Queensland, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Queensland’s Future Beef extension team and AgForce.

What do we need?
Producer contributions are helping make this research a reality.  We need to collectively raise up to $500,000 from industry and partners to co-match a government grant.

To date, producer pledges have raised $205,500 in cash and $153,500 in-kind contributions, a grand total of $359,000 of pledges over a three-year period.  These pledges demonstrate producers want research solutions to the devastating impacts of Pimelea. 

How can you contribute?
  1. Pimelea impact survey
    Complete this short confidential survey on the impacts of Pimelea on your business, family and mental health.  Help elevate the need for this research to the wider cattle industry and governments by contributing data on cattle losses, financial costs, lost carrying capacity and your well-being.
  2. Cash and in-kind pledges to kick start research
    Graziers may be willing to contribute the cash proceeds from the sale of one or more livestock or similar. In-kind contributions may be for activities such as voluntary labour to collect Pimelea plant samples, access to livestock for rumen fluid samples, use of paddocks for a trial, helping with best practice field trials or hosting a field day.
    Please use this form to pledge cash or in-kind and return to AgForce.
  3. Pimelea Plant Collection
    Researchers require Pimelea plant material collected now, while it is regionally abundant after recent rain.  Plants will be processed and freeze dried in the Coopers Plains laboratory for use over the three-year project period.  You can help with Pimelea plant collection by collecting bundles, up to two kilograms in weight.
    Please read the plant collection information sheet before collecting Pimelea on how to collect, location information required, storage of plants and where to send plant material.  Contact is Associate Professor Mary Fletcher, UQ, phone 07 3443 2479, email mary.fletcher@.uq.edu.au.

  • Research contracts finalised and the Stage 1 Pimelea research project has commenced. 
  • Thank you to producers and organisations who paid up their Year One pledges.  The cumulative pledge total of $75,000 was matched with $75,000 from Meat and Livestock Australia’s Donor Company to provide $150,000 towards commencing research into rumen inoculum and rumen blocking compounds.

Making research a reality now

Industry and research partners are pursuing a range of available grant opportunities to expedite research into possible solutions to overcome Pimelea plant toxicity. 

With the sub-total of Year 1 cash pledges of $55,000, we can pursue 1:3 funding from Meat and Livestock Australia’s Producer Innovation Fast Track.  If successful, MLA will co-match this $55,000 pledge with a $165,000 one-year grant to commence research as soon as possible.  An application has been lodged with MLA.

There are two options for ongoing research funding beyond Year 1.  MLA is currently assessing a research application through the open call for research, development & adoption (RD&A) projects.  If the application is successful, red meat levies collected through MLA will fund Pimelea research and no additional producer cash pledges will be required, beyond Year 1.  If the open -call project application to MLA is not successful, the other option is negotiating Year 2 and 3 Pimelea funding by co-matching pledges with a grant through MLA’s Donor Company.

Collecting samples

University of Queensland and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries scientists are seeking Pimelea plant samples to assist in their research. Guidelines for collecting samples can be found here.

For more information, please contact Marie Vitelli at AgForce Queensland via email agforce@agforceqld.org.au, phone 07 3236 3100 or fax 07 3236 3077.
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