The nation's peak woolgrower body has launched an online survey to find out what impact the coronavirus pandemic was having on the income and operations of wool farms.
WoolProducers Australia CEO Jo Hall said the survey results would provide an insight into how producers were responding to the recent sharp dip in prices and whether emergency government aid including JobKeeper payments were being accessed by producers.
Among the things WoolProducers wants to know is how many growers are storing wool on farm rather than selling and how many have had to put off staff.
Ms Hall said WoolProducers had been at the forefront of the recent battle to have the wool and livestock sectors recognised as an essential industry and now the body was moving to ensure growers received the help they needed to get through the crisis.
Producers are facing a challenging time with nosediving confidence among consumers and processors in countries like Italy, France, the US, China and Britain likely to hit retail wool apparel sales for some time.
WoolProducers' president Ed Storey said the peak body needed to know what effects, if any, have been experienced at a grassroot level from Covid-19.
"The survey will help us demonstrate to governments what effects the pandemic may be having on our growers and help us to plan our advocacy strategies as we continue to represent growers through Covid-19, and, eventually, get their businesses back to normal," he said.
The survey questions cover a range of areas that may be impacted by Covid-19 including access to labour such as shearers and livestock contractors and the use of Government assistance packages such as JobKeeper. The survey will be open for two weeks.
"We need as many woolgrowers to undertake the survey as possible as this gives us the clearest understanding of the effects of the pandemic on wool businesses," Mr Storey said.
"The survey takes about 10 minutes or less to complete and is completely anonymous but we have given growers the option to leave their contact details if they would like to give a case study of the impacts on their business that we can use in our advocacy efforts."
The survey is available on the WoolProducers Australia website, under the dedicated Covid-19 resources page at www.woolproducers.com.au/covid-19/
The story How much pain is coronavirus causing wool producers? first appeared on Farm Online.