FutureBeef 2020: Best Management and Technology

AUSTRALIA - Ten Middlemount district grazing businesses have founded another CQ BEEF (Better Economic and Environmental Futures) Group, a regional producer-driven project under the FutureBeef initiative.
calendar icon 6 August 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries principal industry development officer Mick Sullivan said FutureBeef 2020 was firmly focused on partnering with Queensland beef producers to deliver technology and best management practices to the state´s progressive cattle industry.

Mr Sullivan said the CQ BEEF project was flourishing with eight groups now established since its mid-2007 launch based on a partnership between Fitzroy Basin Association Inc (FBA), Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies and QPIF.

The Australian Government´s Caring for Our Country program has provided the funding support through FBA to assist these families to assess the financial implications of changes in business strategies relating to turn-off, marketing, property development and supplementary feeding.

"Our objective is to assist the group members to review their family operated grazing businesses using in-depth economic analysis to identify opportunities to improve profitability and environmental management," Mr Sullivan said.

The newly formed Middlemount Group held their initial meeting in late June and members are working closely with Emerald-based facilitators Byrony Daniels, a QPIF development officer and Gina Mace, an FBA grazing land management officer.

To work through the Profitprobe economic analysis of each individual business can be a challenge but all participants have access to the project support team which includes QPIF agricultural economist Rebecca Gowen at Rockhampton.

With the addition of Middlemount, the Central Highlands now has functioning groups established at Mackenzie River, Rolleston and the Billaboo catchment in the Gemfields - Bogantungan area west of Emerald.

Mr Sullivan said that FutureBeef groups like this are providing meaningful direction to achieve long-term management and productivity outcomes for Queensland´s cattle industry.

"We have successfully brought group members together to openly share and entrust their business objectives and financial records to help identify and address the strengths and weaknesses of individual family operations," Mr Sullivan said.

"By identifying ways to improve business profitability, producers can then focus on the most effective ways to implement change to lift on-farm efficiency.

"There are groups utilising remote sensing technology to benchmark land cover changes to help monitor land condition and maintain sustainable stocking rates.

"Others are adopting rotational grazing with strategic water placement coupled with water medication for better pasture utilisation; investigating the economics of planting leucaena; and honing live cattle assessment skills to target high-value markets."

Mr Sullivan said the scope for improved business profitability was unlimited and the ground-breaking leadership of FutureBeef´s CQ BEEF pilot project was also delivering natural resource management benefits welcomed by an increasingly environmentally aware broader community.

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