Steak ‘n wood: demonstrating livestock productivity and environmental service benefits of trees on farm in northern systems

This project aims to quantify the productivity and ecosystems services of silvopastoral systems (SPS), a dual management of livestock and trees as a pathway to became carbon neutral by 2030 (CN30).

The Steak ‘n wood project will connect the beef and forest industries across 48 million hectares of sub-tropical and tropical Queensland and northern of NSW suitable for SPS, and will examine the potential of SPS to:

  • mitigate GHG emissions
  • enhance income diversification and increased livestock productivity
  • enhance land use
  • improve animal welfare
  • improve on-farm biodiversity

The research team will conduct on-farm studies to determine the effect of SPS on soil, pasture, livestock, timber, farm-level financial performance and natural capital in tropical and sub-tropical beef production systems.

Specific objectives of the Steak ‘n wood project

  • Determine the potential for livestock producers to manage their private native forest and/or incorporate trees on farms to sequester carbon and help the Australian red meat industry to improve the value of livestock sales and meet the CN30 aspiration.
  • Investigate appropriate options for silvopastoral system (SPS) establishment in native forest and degraded pasture.
  • Improve the existing carbon calculator tools by more accurately estimating carbon sequestered in trees.
  • Evaluate the financial and economic performance of SPS.
  • Evaluate SPS as potential alternative for mitigating woodland thickening issues.
  • Determine the biodiversity and environmental benefits of silvopastoral systems.

Key partners of Steak ‘n wood

This is a 5-year project led by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and co-funded by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Donor Company. A strong multidisciplinary team has been assembled to deliver this project and include collaborations with The University of Queensland (UQ), University of Sunshine Coast (USC), Department of Environmental Sciences (DES), beef and timber producers and industry (red meat, forestry and energy producing industries).


For more information about Steak ‘n wood, contact Senior Research Scientist, Nahuel Pachas on 07 5459 3731.