Northern beef producers now have access to a first of its kind, practical resource developed specifically to help boost the productivity of their breeding herds.
The step-by-step guide is one of the outputs of CashCow, a project funded by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) in partnership with The University of Queensland, Northern Territory Government and Queensland Government to help bolster performance in the northern beef herd.
The MLA CashCow project team included veterinarians, beef production researchers and epidemiologists who collated and analysed data from around 78,000 cows in 142 breeding mobs across 72 northern breeding properties.
MLA General Manager – Producer Consultation and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said the assessment has helped identify factors affecting breeder reproduction and develop solutions that can be adopted by producers.
“Ensuring production efficiencies in the northern beef herd is an ongoing challenge. In turn, this can impact the financial performance of northern businesses,” Mr Crowley said.
“This toolkit encourages producers to ask themselves ‘could my herd be more productive?’ and provides an introduction to understanding their herd’s productivity and possible causes of poor performance.”
The guide provides steps and advice on how to gauge production and performance, including measures like recording the right information, understanding what is achievable for your operation’s environment, identifying the causes of low productivity and assessing management options.
A range of suitable solutions which can address issues and enhance performance have also been provided, and include such actions as managing the feedbase, lactation, breeding, health and stress.
Mr Cowley said CashCow was a proactive and innovative program that broke down complex issues into relatively simple and practical actions.
“We keenly encourage those with breeding operations in northern Australia to take advantage of the work and resources that have been invested in designing a targeted plan of action to address production issues.”
Source: Meat & Livestock Australia. For more information on CashCow visit www.mla.com.au/cashcow, where you can also download a copy of the guide “Could your herd be more productive? An introduction to understanding your herd’s productivity and possible causes of poor performance” or the Technical Synopsis: CashCow Findings which provides more detail and further assistance.