Begonia beef business analysis

Staff from Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) were joined by Tim Emery, Tropical Beef Technical Services, as they spent two days carrying out economic analyses of beef businesses in the Begonia area, approximately 120 km south-west of Roma.

Tim Moravek and Daisy-May Denny (DAF Agricultural Economists), presented the “Profitable Decision Making” workshop at the Begonia Sports Club.  Workshop attendees were taken through a process of how to economically analyse their current operation and were shown how to test available options to improve profitability.

Participants were shown practical examples of:

  • how to test management options and how they might get these answers for themselves,
  • when to sell and when to feed
  • optimum herd productivity
  • cost-benefit analysis.

Following the workshop the team visited three agribusinesses to undertake an economic analysis of their current operations.

The team used Breedcow and Dynama modelling software to assess the economics of the current operation, and modelled various potential alternative scenarios for feasibility.

An example of some of the scenarios analysed included:

  • purchasing weaners in the present market to be supplementary fed, grown out and sold to a feedlot (purchase and sale price sensitivity as well as feed price and weight gain sensitivity were considered)growing forage sorghum to either be grazed by trade steers or turned into silage and used more widely as a feed supplement in the operation in future years
  • various levels of dry season supplementation options in a trading operation

It was a productive exercise for the visited agribusinesses, giving them further insight in their operation and greater understanding of the sensitivities and risks associated with the various alternative scenarios.

The final follow-up activity from the Tips & Topics Day will be held in early 2020, looking at on-property digital connectivity.

Supported by the Queensland Government through the Reef Water Quality Program and GrazingFutures Program, the activity was a follow-up as requested at the Tips & Topics day held at Begonia earlier in the year (see Local beef producers drive Tips & Topics Day at Begonia -1 August 2019).