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Producers back Grazing BMP

Beef Central, 16/04/2013

Cattle producer Peter Anderson, AgForce Cattle Director Michael Mactaggart, AgForce BMP project manager Sue Dillon and AgForce Policy Officer Marie Vitelli.A cattle policy forum in Charters Towers has highlighted strong producer support for the grazing Best Management Programm according to AgForce.

The Grazing BMP gained the support of the Queensland Government earlier this year, and AgForce says more than 100 graziers from across the state demonstrated their support for the program at the Charters Towers forum. 

AgForce BMP project manager, Sue Dillon, said the program gave industry a means to highlight the strong performance of the sector and to correct misconceptions about livestock production.

“Grazing BMP will allow us to demonstrate that we are an exceptional and ever evolving, world class industry and producers need to be united in spreading this message,” Ms Dillon said.

“With ever increasing pressure to validate the industry’s high achievements, we need to start proving our outstanding environmental and animal welfare stewardship.”

Ms Dillon said a window currently exists to deliver an industry wide tool that helps graziers identify the most profitable and sustainable practices for their own businesses.

“Now is the time for the grazing industry to get on board and drive their BMP to meet their needs. Without it we can only expect more of the same constraints and pressures previously experienced,” she said.

“Other industries are either already engaging with, or in the process of developing an industry specific BMP program. This is not a new concept; it is essentially industry highlighting the consistently high standards and quality of its products to the broader community as consumers become more selective as to how they spend their money.

“In coastal areas of Queensland, good uptake of Grazing BMP may help graziers move from reef-regulation to an industry designed and led system using industry derived information that will help demonstrate the high adoption rates of sustainable practices that are important for monitoring reef health.”

Representatives from the joint Grazing BMP partnership between AgForce, Fitzroy Basin Association and Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (QDAFF) were on hand at the Cattle forum last month to provide an overview of the BMP process and a practical demonstration of the modules.

Queensland grazier Peter Anderson gave a producer perspective of the program and said it was the best way to move the industry forward and be recognised for its good environmental stewardship and environmental practices. He said the success of the program relies on the industry getting behind it to demonstrate the ongoing development and progressive nature of grazing in Queensland.

The web-based program, in development since 2009, uses the same framework as the successful myBMP Cotton and Grains BMP. Each of the 156 benchmark questions across five modules have been developed and piloted by a panel of producers, after technical input from QDAFF grazing extension staff.

Source: AgForce

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