Livestock management

Management of livestock must take into account variable seasonal factors, fluctuating markets and declining terms of trade. The most successful producers have a good knowledge of market requirements, matching product quality to suit. There are many factors that can determine the productivity and profitability of a livestock enterprise. These include the supply and quality of feedstuffs, the use of the most appropriate genetics, ensuring high health standards, optimising housing or environmental conditions, meeting quality assurance requirements, and having a sound knowledge of market requirements. This requires good communication along the value chain.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has technical expertise in a range of areas related to livestock management but acknowledges that there are many other sources of information that producers should be encouraged to seek out. There are many grower groups who play an important role in encouraging discussion amongst producers to improve adoption of new technology, as do private consultants and university scientists.

Articles

  • Deferred grazing is a tactic where stock are excluded from pasture areas to maximise germination and establishment of annual pasture seedlings.

  • Dry pastures in Western Australia provide good early feed after senescence but rapidly become unable to maintain stock.

  • Grass seeds may cause a number of serious production and health problems in sheep, including eye damage. Wool affected by grass seed has reduced demand value.

  • The productivity of sheep is largely governed by the amount of pasture they eat and this is influenced by the quantity of the pasture on offer and its quality.

  • Grazing management in winter and spring can be used to manipulate the quality and quantity of pasture as well as composition, increase animal production efficiency and achieve production targets, r

  • Applying nitrogen fertiliser to pasture in winter can increase dry matter production of grasses and broadleaf weeds and help reduce feed shortages in winter.

  • Grazing annual pastures in autumn can potentially lead to a significant reduction in pasture seedling density, especially within the first 12 days after the break of season.

  • Established in 2003, EverGraze was designed to develop, test and implement new farming systems based on perennials in a range of environments across the high rainfall zone of southern Australia.

  • Grazing crops can assist with increasing stock numbers and/or crop area on a farm.