Fitzroy Basin field days aim to maximise profits from high quality forages

Getting the best results using the right forage is the focus of a recently completed Queensland Government and MLA research project: High-output forage systems for meeting beef markets – Phase 2.

High output forages, including sorghum, lablab, oats, leucaena and other perennial legume-grass pastures, all play an integral part in beef backgrounding and finishing operations in central Queensland.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries beef researchers have just completed 4 years of field work on commercial beef properties across the Fitzroy Basin to benchmark and analyse the forages from every angle including; agronomy (plant yield and quality), beef production (cattle live-weight gain, stocking rates and grazing management) and economics (forage gross margins and the value added by forages to the whole farm business).

To assist beef producers to make informed decisions about what forages may be best for their enterprises, and how to maximise production and returns, a series of High Output Forages Field Days are being planned for June.

Field days will be held at:

Each field day will include presentations from the project’s agronomist, nutritionist and economist as well as a demonstration of how to use the forage gross margin spreadsheet calculators developed in this project, to calculate gross margins relevant to your own business.

A guide to forage use, ‘Feeding forages in the Fitzroy – a guide to profitable beef production in the Fitzroy River catchment’, has been produced as part of this project and contains information on the agronomy, management, cattle production and economic performance from high quality forages. This free book will be available to producers at the field days.

The field days are free to attend and smoko and lunch will be provided. All attendees need to RSVP by 22 May to assist with catering purposes.

The field days are presented by FutureBeef, which is a joint initiative of the West Australian, Queensland and Northern Territory Governments, and Meat and Livestock Australia.