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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 • Low net feed intake (NFI) females exhibited greater maternal efficiency (kg calf/MJ consumed by cow & calf unit) than high NFI females: • on High nutrition – ate less • on Low nutrition – ate the same but weaned a heavier calf • Low NFI females at Vasse in WA tended to have lower pregnancy rates (87%) than the high NFI females (95%) and longer days to calving. It is too early in the life of the project to say whether this calving rate trend is statistically significant. managing the land A sustainable livestock production system is a key focus for our research but it can often take years to develop and reap the full benefit from individual R&D investments. Grain & Graze is a collaboration between MLA, Land & Water Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Australian Wool Innovation Limited and over 60 farmer and landcare groups, research providers and regional management authorities. Over 72% of participating producers indicated Grain & Graze changed their attitude and knowledge; a 45% increase in pasture sowings (total of 46,000 ha) over the past 5 years for production and Natural Resource Management outcomes with a planned increase to 101,776 ha in 5 years. The biodiversity project within the Grain & Graze Program won the Banksia Land and Biodiversity Award recognising environmental excellence, sustainability and education. This project is Australia’s largest ever evaluation of biodiversity on mixed farms The Banksia Awards are regarded as the most prestigious awards program of their kind in Australia. The Tasmanian Red Meat Targets Program at Winnaleah continue to edge closer to its target of 2000kg LWG per hectare per year (currently achieving 1630kg), despite some initial setbacks arising from reduced allocations of water and nitrogen inputs. MLA’s investment into the Future Farming Industries CRC to 2011 is focussed on developing the EverGraze project in the southern high rainfall zone and Enrich, multipurpose shrub-based production systems in the lowmedium rainfall zone. Ian Johnsson General Manager Livestock Product Innovation Meat and Livestock Australia 47 ensuring sustainability in a Changing Climate Climate change and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are of critical concern to the Australian community, government and livestock industry. Our environment portfolio is geared to ensuring the Australian red meat industry is well- positioned for emerging policy needs, consumer and market expectations, and to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. MLA was fortunate in recruiting Dr Beverley Henry from the Climate Change Centre of Excellence in Queensland in early 2008 to lead an expanded program of R&D in this topic. adoption of r&d outComes The value of MLA’s R&D is only delivered when outcomes are taken up and effectively implemented by enterprises along the value chain. MLA delivers tools, information and learning opportunities, and collaborates with other organisations and agencies that can influence and facilitate adoption of new technologies, processes and management practices that improve productivity and/or sustainability. In 2007/08 more than 109,000 publications were distributed and over 15,000 producers attended 400 MLA producer activities across the country. The Beef Up forums run across northern Australia in 2008 are a great case study of the adoption of R&D outputs, forum evaluation showed over 95% of participants indicated they learnt something new, over 60% indicated they would attend training, and over 60% indicated they planned to make changes in management from what they heard. 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 47 5/5/09 8:00:52 PM