THE sheep industry is set to benefit from two new innovative research projects that will be undertaken at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

The projects, funded by the NSW Sheep Industry Fund, were announced by NSW Primary Industries Minister, Katrina Hodgkinson, at Wagga last week.

The first of the research project will be a pilot study to investigate the potential claimed link between soil pH, nutritional conditions and the clinical expression of Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD).

The results from this trial would then determine if further research in this area was warranted.

The second project will look at the effectiveness of vitamin and mineral supplements commonly used in sheep in NSW.

“This research will provide sheep producers with unbiased scientific information to help them decide if vitamin and mineral supplements are effective and economically worthwhile,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

“The results from this new research will provide valuable information to sheep producers and ensure sustainable and profitable production into the future.”

Ms Hodgkinson said the initiative delivers on Goal 1 of the NSW Agriculture Industry Action Plan launched last year – to maintain a responsive and flexible industry.

“This strategic roadmap was developed between industry and the NSW government and ensures the continued growth of the State’s $12 billion primary industries sector,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Sheep Advisory Group chairman Andrew Martel said the group provided advice to the Ms Hodgkinson on proposals for the use of the funds.

He said the NSW Sheep Industry Fund was used for research, extension or surveillance projects with outcomes that deliver practical benefits to NSW sheep producers.

“The Sheep Advisory Group believe the research to be undertaken in the two projects announced will clearly benefit the industry.”

Applicants seeking funding from the NSW Sheep Industry Fund for research, extension or surveillance projects may apply using the application form on the Department of Primary Industries website.

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