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High-output forage systems for meeting beef markets – Phase 2

​This project investigated the relative profitability of six forage options for backgrounding or finishing cattle in the Fitzroy River catchment of Queensland.  Data was collected at 24 forage sites on commercial properties over 2011-2014.  Whole-farm economic case studies were developed with five co-operators.  The factors affecting profitability were further investigated through constructed forage scenarios.  This work has provided a better understanding of the expected forage, animal and economic performance from key forage options under commercial management conditions.  Under current market and cost conditions, perennial legume-grass pastures, particularly leucaena-grass, had a significant advantage over perennial grass pasture and annual forages in terms of profitability.  However, legume-grass pastures were not as profitable as grain cropping when grain cropping was a feasible alternative.  Annual forages were unable to add economic value to the beef enterprise due to their higher average growing costs when compared to perennial forages.  Existing models could not accurately predict forage and animal production from annual forage crops.  A prototype decision support tool was developed.  A producer guide to forage use, and gross margin spreadsheets for forages grown in three sub-regions of the Fitzroy River catchment, have been developed and will support informed decision making with regard to forage use.



Title Size Date published
10.6MB 05/06/2015


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
High-output forage systems for meeting beef markets: Phase 2
17/01/2011 09/06/2016

This page was last updated on 03/08/2018