Improved empirical models of cattle growth, reproduction and mortality

The Improved empirical models of cattle growth, reproduction and mortality project from native pastures in northern Australia project reviewed, tested and updated animal production modules of existing grazing system models.


Simulation models of native pastures in northern Australia have seen wide and increasing use for environmental and ecological reviews (including climate impacts) and the evaluation of grazing management options. Current models of cattle performance (including liveweight gain) are based mainly on research conducted some 20 years ago. This project reviewed these models, and collated a range of existing and new data sets, to estimate improved predictions for rates of growth, reproduction and mortality. The performance of existing and adapted models across a wide range of locations was evaluated, with somewhat mixed results. When applied to different pasture communities and land types, the models generally need to be re-parameterised. It is recommended that these investigations continue, so that the available models can be used with good confidence across the rangelands of northern Australia.

When: 15 June 2010 to 30 April 2012

Contact: David Mayer

Collaborators: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, Department of Resources and CSIRO

More information

For more information, please read the final report summary and download the final report (B.NBP.0641) (PDF, 2.4MB) from Meat & Livestock Australia.