Enterprise Challenges Ignite CQ BEEF Enthusiasm

AUSTRALIA - Three more CQ BEEF groups are up and running with another on the drawing board which boosts the regional producer representation to 54 businesses all targeting improved economic performance and environmental management goals.
calendar icon 18 March 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries principal industry development officer Mick Sullivan leads the ground-breaking CQ BEEF (Better Economic and Environmental Futures) project team.

The CQ BEEF initiative, launched in mid-2007, was founded on a partnership between the Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA), Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies and DPI&F.

"In addition to our established CQ BEEF groups at Biloela, Moura, Bajool and Mackenzie River, we now have a new CQ BEEF Broadsound group that has brought together six family grazing enterprises from the Marlborough and St Lawrence districts," Mr Sullivan said.

"The recently founded CQ BEEF Rolleston group is our biggest to date based on 12 businesses totalling 170,000 hectares running more than 35,000 cattle.

"Another newly-formed CQ BEEF Billaboo group represents four grazing businesses within the Bogantungan district west of Emerald and the ground work is being laid to promote a seventh CQ BEEF group in the northern Central Highlands district.

"Our newly-operating groups are supported by the Fitzroy Basin Association through a $322,447 in funding from the Australian Government´s Caring for Our Country."

The Caring for Our Country funding, which carries through to June 2010, has also enabled FBA to appoint University of Queensland agricultural science graduate Joe O´Reagain as a regional grazing land management officer.

Mr Sullivan said the DPI&F CQ BEEF extension team and FBA regional officers were working with producers to identify areas to improve profitability and sustainability of their operations using Profit Probe business analysis.

"Our goal is to assist the 101 group members to identify opportunities that can improve profitability and then focus of the most effective way to implement change."

DPI&F´s CQ BEEF team which includes an agricultural economist have the resources to help producers assess the financial implications of changes in business in relation to turnoff, marketing, property development and supplementary feeding.

"Thanks to Caring for Our Country, the CQ BEEF pilot project has grown to the extent that our groups representing close to 400,000ha and 100,000 cattle will be able to provide meaningful direction to achieve long-term land management and productivity outcomes for Central Queensland´s cattle industry," Mr Sullivan said.

Mr Sullivan said group members were keen to investigate the use of new technologies.

The Rolleston group was already working with DPI&F senior scientist Dr Terry Beutel to use VegMachine satellite imagery to benchmark land cover change during the past 20 years at selected paddock locations. This remote sensing technology can help monitor land condition and assist landholders maintain sustainable stocking rates.

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