Step changes in meat production systems from dual-purpose crops in the feedbase: Final Report to MLA

Shawn McGrath, Andrew Moore, Cesar Pinares-Patino, Scott McDonald, Richard Simpson, John A. Kirkegaard, Michael Friend, Susan Street, Graeme Sandral, Ralph Behrendt, Margaret Raeside, Johnathan Tocker

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

A research project at three sites has found that under good management, incorporating dual‐purpose crops into livestock systems can both increase returns and reduce production and financial risk. In a four‐year systems experiment near Canberra (2013‐2016), incorporating dual‐purpose crops into a breeding Merino ewe production system on permanent pastures increased meat and wool production and ewe live weights during spring. Lamb production (live weight turn‐off per hectare) and gross margin returns were increased by including dual‐purpose crops in the system and prioritising grazing of crops for weaners (11% and 56% respectively). Livestock can graze crops for a significant period of the year when two crops are grazed in sequence (e.g. canola then wheat); the main feed gap shifts to late summer and autumn, when the crops are being established. Extrapolation of the systems experiment using simulation modelling supported these conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNorth Sydney
PublisherMeat and Livestock Australia
Commissioning bodyMeat and Livestock Australia
Number of pages151
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2018

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