Stanley Vale Merino Stud - News & Views

Red meat, green facts - embracing the emissions challenge

By Jason Strong, Managing Director, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA)

While the decade old national policy debate around emissions reduction targets flared again last week, Australia’s red meat producers and businesses are continuing to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining and improving the environment.

The news may come as a surprise to some.  Unfortunately, we have grown a little too accustomed to seeing negative headlines around red meat’s impact on our environment, and not enough coverage of the positive, proactive steps our forward thinking industry is taking.

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Leucaena lifts its weight

Could leucaena deliver a four-fold increase in production benefits by increasing weight gain and carrying capacity?

An MLA-supported weight gain trial for steers grazing the forage legume, Redlands leucaena, has set out to answer this question and early results are positive.

The trial is being hosted by Redlands leucaena growers and seed producers, Bruce and Lucinda Mayne, at their property ‘Fairview’ in central Queensland.

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Multi breed evaluations on the way

A new $7.3 million research project – the Southern Multi Breed Project – was launched yesterday to ultimately enable beef producers to directly compare bulls of different breeds for a range of traits.

MLA General Manager Research, Development and Adoption, Michael Crowley, was at the launch in Armidale and explains what the Southern Multi Breed Project means for red meat producers and why MLA is supporting the project.

Q: What does the project involve?

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Lamb finishing: is it worth it?

High-performance forage crop and perennial pasture systems were put to the test in NSW’s Monaro region in an MLA-funded Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) to see how finishing lambs stacked up compared to the traditional store lamb system.

The result was a tick for farm profitability, with average net profits from establishing and finishing lambs on the pasture/crops ranging from $305/ha to $1,492/ha over the two years of the PDS, despite poor seasonal conditions in the second year.

In comparison, the region’s traditional system of turning lambs off as stores by the end of December, at average sale weight of 29kg had an average total enterprise gross margin of $161/ha.

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Taking feedbase management back to basics

Victorian sheep producers Craig and Jayne Drum could carry out feed budgeting in their sleep, but it hasn’t stopped them from looking for new information to drive their feedbase productivity.

Jayne was a technical officer for trials in the MLA‑supported EverGraze project for two years and Craig is an agronomist, but they reckon it’s one thing to teach and another to do.

“Jayne’s probably taken a thousand pasture measurements through her work,” Craig said.

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