Thirty-three percent of cattle slaughtered at an Australian abattoir over an eight-year period were infected with hydatid disease resulting in approximately AU$94,000 lost per year due to condemnation and downgrading of infected organs.
Hydatid disease is caused by a small tapeworm that lives in the intestines of dogs, dingoes and foxes. In cattle, sheep, kangaroos, wallabies, pigs and humans, fluid-filled hydatid cysts develop in the internal organs (offal). There are rarely any clinical signs, however, infection with hydatid cysts is usually identified at slaughter. Infected organs are condemned and rendered or downgraded to pet food leading to economic losses to the industry.
More information about Hydatid disease, including how it is transmitted and how it can be prevented can be found in this publication from Charles Sturt University: Hydatid disease in the Australian beef industry (PDF, 1 MB).
This calculator may assist users to assess the benefit of feeding versus selling pregnancy tested in calf (PTIC) cows. More information about this tool and how it can be used can be found here: Improving profitability and resilience of beef and sheep businesses in Queensland preparing for responding to and recovering from drought
A report summarising results for the Central West Mitchell Grasslands region is available for download.
For this region, an integrated pasture and beef herd modelling approach was developed to allow the impact of climate variability on a range of grazing management scenarios to be modelled. This bio-economic evaluation found that setting livestock numbers based on safe pasture utilisation rate principles, but adopting a moderate degree of flexibility in altering livestock numbers in response to pasture availability, is likely to be the most profitable approach to grazing management while maintaining pasture and land condition over time. However, it was essential to economic viability that re-stocking occurred as soon as possible once good seasonal conditions returned.
Tactical strategies that may be applied in response to drought were also assessed in this report.
Russell and Donna Lethbridge of Werrington Station has shown that operating a grazing system that mitigates the risk of climate variability does not need to be complex, however it does need to have room for “buffers”. To create this flexibility within his grazing business, Russell has made a number of changes over the years to his management practices that has not only increased the business’ productivity, but also decreased the breeder mortality rate from 5% to 0.5%. To read more about the management strategies used to achieve this result, download the Werrington Station case study (PDF, 2 MB).
Helping grazing businesses become more profitable and drought resilient is the aim of a QDAF project funded by the Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaptation Program. Economic analyses are being conducted for a number of regions across Queensland. A range of management strategies and technologies aimed at making grazing businesses more profitable and drought resilient are being assessed. In addition, the project is examining options in the drought response and recovery phases. A report summarising results for the Northern Gulf (PDF, 4.5 MB) is now available for download. In this region assessment of alternative beef production strategies included:
- addressing a decline in land condition through a reduction in stocking rates and systematic wet season spelling;
- adequate wet season phosphorus supplements for all cattle;
- stylos, leucaena, production feeding, silage, agistment and changing age of turnoff for steers; and
- better genetics for fertility, home-bred bulls, reducing foetal/calf loss, and feeding first calf heifers for breeders.
Other low cost strategies to improve drought resilience, as well as drought response and drought recovery strategies, were also assessed. To find out more, click here:
This new publication, Gully erosion—Options for prevention and rehabilitation published by Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management, provides a step-by-step photo-guide of how different types of gully erosion can be rectified or prevented with helpful diagrams and a thorough explanation of the why’s, the where’s and the how’s.
This guide, compiled by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association, provides information on the safe design, construction and operation of livestock loading/unloading ramps and forcing yards. The purpose of the guide is to promote safer workplaces for people in contact with livestock loading facilities and to improve animal welfare outcomes.
Download the document: Guide for safe design of livestock loading ramps and forcing yards (PDF, 6.5 MB).
This guide used the best information available at the time of publication. It is intended to help you assess what type of flood is likely to occur in your area and indicate what amount of feed you might expect. Authors: David Phelps, Terry Beutel, Chris Holloway, Ian Houston, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Steven Cobbin (Southern Gulf NRM) 2018. A higher resolution version of the map is available by contacting FutureBeef.
Download a copy of the Flinders river catchment flood rules of thumb (PDF, 11 MB)
A small proportion of livestock are identified as being unfit to load onto ships during pre-embarkation inspections. These animals are identified as sick, injured, weak or physiologically unsuitable for transport and must be managed optimally to ensure welfare is not unduly compromised. The information provided in this manual will assist in standardising the approaches to treatment and management of these animals. Click here to download your copy of Management of unfit to load livestock (PDF, 1 MB)
From the CashCow project, comes this comprehensive yet succinct eight page document, designed to assist producers to identify where productivity issues might lie. Derived from the observations from 78,000 cows in 142 breeding mobs across 72 properties between 2008 and 2011, this document highlights the importance of data collection and how to use the information at hand to make informed decisions moving forward. Set out in an easy to read step-by-step format, with helpful explanatory diagrams, this one comes as a definite must read for any beef producer. Download your copy of Could your herd be more productive? (PDF, 750 KB)