Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen believes reclassification of lamb will help drought-stricken farmers

UPPER Hunter MP Michael Johnsen believes the recent reclassification of lamb will inject a $10 million boost towards drought-stricken farmers.

And, he welcomed the changing of the interpretation of lamb as being an animal that has not cut an incisor tooth.

"We know that our farmers are facing some of the toughest conditions on record, which means it's more important than ever that they are on equal footing with international competitors," Mr Johnsen said.

"Currently, producers can have as little as one month's warning before they face the price cliff associated with their lamb becoming classified as hogget.

"Under the new definition lamb will be an ovine that is under 12 months of age or does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear.

"The reclassification provides a more definitive physical indication of what constitutes a lamb and in turn, affords growers greater confidence and certainty when going to market."

As Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Mr Johnsen noted that the new guidelines give producers a clearer timeframe about when they can market their ovine as lamb.

"Forecasting estimates the changes will add $50 on average to each animal and $10 million per year to the NSW lamb industry," he explained.

"Importantly the definition changes will have no bearing on the great quality and taste.

"The Nationals in government will continue to advocate for our regions and our farmers, whether it's changes to regulations, funding or bringing new initiatives to the table, we are the party giving you a voice."

The changes, made following extensive consultation with producers and other industry stakeholders, will come into effect in July and brings Australia into line with key international competitors, including our largest lamb export competitor, New Zealand.