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)
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 Fitzroy NRM region of central Queensland is now available for download. In this region assessment of alternative beef production strategies included:
- leucaena, other legumes, forage oats, feedlotting and HGPs for steers;
- better genetics for fertility, reducing foetal/calf loss, pestivirus management, inorganic supplements to address P deficiency, and feeding first calf heifers for breeders; and
- alternative markets such as organic beef, EU and Wagyu.
Other low cost strategies to improve drought resilience, as well as drought response and drought recovery strategies, were also assessed.
Richard and Beth Judd moved to ‘Hat Creek’ at Baralaba in 1999. They are a family operation with their sons, Clayton and Wyatt, involved in the business. In May 2018 Richard attended the Callide Dawson Carcase Competition Field Day at Warnoah Feedlot to hear Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) scientist Dr Maree Bowen speak about ‘Improving beef business performance with high quality forages’.
Maree’s presentation inspired Richard to find out more about how to maximise returns from high quality forages in this area of central Queensland. This case study explains how the Judd’s used economic analyses to determine their best options. Download a copy of the Case study: Local graziers use economics to assist business planning (PDF, 556KB).
‘Pasture dieback: past activities and current situation across Queensland (2017)’ describes the current situation of pasture dieback across Queensland, specifically areas, locations and grass species impacted, climate, geographical and managerial impacts, and remedial management techniques being implemented.
It includes a review of published literature about pasture dieback both nationally and internationally, including findings of past and recent research and field sampling. It also provides recommendations for future research, development and extension priorities.
Author: Stuart Buck, Senior Agronomist (Sown Pastures), Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (PDF, 2MB).