Causal factors affecting liveweight gain in north Australian beef herds

The Causal factors affecting liveweight gain in north Australian beef herds project aimed to measure the factors that affect within-herd variation in weight gain in extensive Northern Territory beef herds. The factors included genetics, diseases, parasites, temperament and diet selection. It also involved analysis of historical data sets and pen studies.

This study produced a large amount of information about post-weaning performance in northern Australian cattle. The information is of value to researchers and producers as a source of descriptive statistics on performance.

The study found that the major conditions affecting liveweight in the 12 months post-weaning appear to be those conditions that influence weaning weight and weaning height, seasonal conditions and their presumed effects on diet quality and quantity, and property level effects that may incorporate effects associated with animal characteristics (breed for example), soil and pasture quality, season, and management decisions.

A number of recommendations from the research project have been made to further progress efforts to improve animal productivity in northern beef herds. These are summarised in the final report.

For more details please read the final report summary and download the final report (B.NBP.0390) (PDF, 5.8MB) from the Meat & Livestock Australia website.

When: 2008 to June 2012

Where: The project was conducted on 11 commercial cattle properties across the Barkly, Katherine, Victoria River District (VRD) and Top End regions of the Northern Territory.

Contact: Neil MacDonald E:

RD&E objectives: Enterprise viability: Increasing cost efficiency and productivity and profitability

Industry priorities: Reproduction, Grazing land management, Nutrition and growth, Animal welfare