Tips and Tools guide released for northern breeding herds

Beef Central, 01/04/2019

Northern beef producers seeking insights to help boost the reproductive performance of their breeding herds now have access to new reference tools developed by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Four new ‘Tips & Tools’ publications have been released, designed to help producers identify issues in their breeding herds and provide ways to address them.

Topics include:

  • What females should I sell? – Examines why selling the right females is so important and includes guidelines for producers to consider such as weighing up market opportunities and specifications, the cost of replacement heifers and pregnancy rates in first-calf cows.
  • How do I manage heifers pre-joining to improve reproductive performance? – A heifer management program is crucial for effective performance of northern breeding herds. This publication provides insights to help producers with planning from pre-joining, through to calving.
  • What joining system should I use? – Looks at joining options – controlled, restricted, segregated, and continuous – and details the advantages and disadvantages of each system, and other key points to consider.
  • What’s causing reproductive loss? – Using a step-by-step approach to on-farm diagnosis, sample collection and laboratory confirmation, this publication helps producers determine causes of reproductive loss and define the most effective solution.

MLA Project Manager – Research & Development Grassfed Beef, Dr Nigel Tomkins, said the Reproductive Performance Tips & Tools have been developed based on findings and insights from extensive northern beef projects, such as CashCow.

“The latest findings are being provided to beef producers through the new Tips & Tools series, presented as short, easy to read, step-by-step reference guides,” Dr Tomkins said.

“The ultimate goal of every beef breeding operation is to produce one well-grown weaner per breeder, per year. One of the major findings from MLA research has been that reproductive loss is having a large impact on the performance of northern beef herds.

“New research is focusing on reproductive performance as a major priority.”

The new Tips & Tools are available here


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  1. Rod Barrett, 07/04/2019

    I am increasingly frustrated at the use of my MLA levies in matters like this.
    These topics have been promoted in the industry ad infinitum by groups like QDPI extension services (remember them?) for probably 25 years.
    Currently ‘Breeding Edge’ services and many consultants hammer away with this same information.
    Why are my MLA levies spent where there is already adequate promotion and extension?
    I consider this a flagrant waste of my resources.

  2. Paul D. Butler, 01/04/2019

    OR…… could learn proven concepts based on profitability per unit of land from the master who has cow dung on his boots rather than an ever larger computer with more numbers………….

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