Sweet Spot: improving breeder herd performance through optimal pasture utilisation

Breeders need the right nutrition to perform well. Is there a sweet spot of pasture utilisation that will sustainably increase breeder productivity in northern Australia?


There is an untapped gold mine of breeding herd production data from sites across northern Australia. We will use existing datasets to ask new questions, getting the most out of research that has already occurred.

We will collate, analyse and model breeder data to:

  • Identify the pasture utilisation rates which optimise breeder productivity
  • Improve existing models to predict breeder performance and economics of herd management
  • Develop tools to improve breeder productivity and maximise profitability.

Project objectives

  1. Develop tools to predict the impact of pasture utilisation on reproduction.
  2. Help producers optimise pasture use to maximise the kilograms turned off/ha (increase weaning rates and reduce breeder mortality) while maintaining the resource base.
  3. Increase beef production efficiency with a reduced cost of production.

Project locations

We are analysing and modelling 60 breeders herds from across northern Australia.

Central Queensland1
Far North Queensland1
Katherine & Sturt Plateau4
North Queensland10
Victoria River District21

When: June 2018 to June 2024


Project Team: Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade, University of Queensland, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Karingal Systems and Trudi Oxley.

Download a copy of the Sweet Spot project flyer (PDF, 4.45MB).