Transforming beef cattle production in southern Australia with dual-purpose crops

Activity: Scholarly activities in Learning and Teaching reflectionPeer reviewed publication reflection


This paper included all current known experiments that had been conducted with cattle on dual-purpose crops. It was a combination of six different experiments across three different states. The paper took two years to complete as it began with two simple experiments that I conducted. One with a colleague through a small Graham Centre Grant and the second experiment was the work of an honours student. During the review process a reviewer suggested that they knew of earlier work that might add to the paper. Suddenly there were collaborations from Queensland to Western Australia with four extra experiments. The paper was re-written to include the extra experiments to provide an overview of the opportunities for mixed farms to graze cattle on dual-purpose crops.

This paper is important as most grazing experiments using dual-purpose crops had been grazed by sheep. This paper presented the opportunity that there is to graze cattle on dual-purpose crop but to also outlined the potential changes in the farming system that could see up to 2 million young cattle grazing dual-purpose crops across southern Australia thereby transforming beef production.

The data and opportunities presented in this paper directly align with the subject PSC360 Pastures and Rangelands that I teach. We spend a week describing the livestock systems on mixed farms including the pasture resource and supplementary feeding. Dual-purpose crops are an essential component on these farms as they support the sheep enterprises by removing the weed feed deficit. This paper demonstrates that there could be a large opportunity for mixed farms to include cattle in the grazing enterprise to maximise the profitability of the system. The students in the class are the ones likely to implement systems such as these. Seeing the evidence of profitable changes on farms gives them the keys to unlock the future potential of mixed farms in Australia.
Period2021 → …
Held atAgricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences
Degree of RecognitionInternational