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Livestock Productivity Partnership

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The Livestock Productivity Partnership (LPP) is a collaborative research and development (R&D) partnership involving MLA Donor Company (MDC), NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), University of New England (UNE), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) and the University of Melbourne (UM), aimed at boosting livestock productivity and developing new R&D capacity.

The goal of the LPP is to contribute to a national increase in productivity improvement in the livestock industry from 1% to 2.5% per year by developing regional and system-specific feedbase options, and new animal phenotyping and farm management tools, primarily for producers in NSW and southern and central Queensland.

For more information:
mdc@mla.com.au

Program: Improve year round feed supply

Project: Dual-purpose crops for lamb production in northern NSW
  • Predicted (modelled) optimal combinations for sowing dual-purpose crops and changing lambing time across multiple locations in northern NSW and southern Queensland.
  • GM analyses for lamb and crop demonstration trials.
  • Pasture system resilience data from grazing study (over three seasons).
  • Longer-term animal health consequences (over three seasons).

Lead organisation: CSIRO
Contact: Peter Hunt (02 6776 1321)
Location: Chiswick, Armidale

Project: Improving the use of forage brassicas in mixed farming systems
  • Evaluation of growth and quality of forage brassica genotypes across seasons and environments.
  • Whole-farm implications (modelled) of integrating forage brassicas into feedbase based on case study farms in each region and gene-environment interaction.
  • Validated simulation models and predictions of potential production from forage brassicas across Australia, particularly in new environments.
  • Data on supplements and introduction techniques.
  • Assessment of animal health risks/ intake problems, mineral deficiencies & N fertilisation recommendations for forage brassicas.

Read news article here

Lead organisation: CSIRO
Contact:
Lindsay Bell (0409 881 988), Lucy Watt
Location: Toowoomba

Project: Increasing livestock production by integrating tropical pastures into farming systems
  • Maps of potential distribution in current and future climates.
  • Whole farm economic and system analyses (risks, perceptions and barriers).
  • Successful establishment techniques.
  • Agronomy packages/ management guidelines.

Lead organisation: NSW DPI
Contact:
Sue Boschma (0477 358 589)
Location: Tamworth

Project: Perennial pasture and forage combinations to extend summer feed in southern NSW
  • Evaluation of alternative summer-active pasture options (summer active grasses, legumes, herbs) for southern tablelands to finish lambs, compared with current best practice (i.e. lucerne and forage brassica).
  • GrazFeed simulations of the likely impact of such species on meat production utilising historical rainfall.

Lead organisation: CSIRO
Contact:
Richard Culvenor (0429 045 850)
Location: Canberra

Project: Novel dual-purpose perennial cereals for grazing
  • Proof-of-concept and estimation of benefits for farmers and advisors for growing and grazing perennial cereals with legumes (economics, ewe health, meat quality).
  • Capacity building of industry professionals such as an entry level research officer and entry level technical assistant.

Lead organisation: NSW DPI
Contact: Richard Hayes (0448 231 704)
Location: Goulburn

Project: Extending the boundaries of legume adaptation through better soil management
  • Management guidelines and financial risk analysis defining the impact of changed soil nutrition on herbage mass and persistence, and likely impacts on livestock productivity.
  • The potential productivity of key legume species and understanding the mechanisms that increase legume persistence.
  • Objective data defining the impact on herbage mineral concentration and the likely impacts of this on livestock productivity and health.
  • Objective data defining the impact of elevated levels of soil nutrition on symbiotic nitrogen fixation by legumes.

Capacity building: support for post-graduate student projects.

Lead organisation: NSW DPI
Contact:
Richard Hayes (0448 231 704)
Location: Goulburn

Project: Phosphorus requirements, establishment and persistence of tropical legumes in northern grazing systems
  • Critical P requirements (plus S and K status) of at least 12 legumes/grasses – recommendations for growers on these.
  • Recommendations on P fertiliser application strategies to increase P acquisition by legumes relative to grasses (banding granules, injecting fluid P at different row-spacings or broadcast application).
  • Identify combinations of grasses/legumes that persist and recover applied P fertiliser efficiently.
  • Determine the impact of improved P application strategies on nitrogen fixation of mixed and single stand swards of tropical legumes.

Capacity building: two PhD students and postdoc pasture nutrition researcher trained and supported.

Lead organisation: UNE
Contact:
Chris Guppy (0414 779 714)
Location: Armidale, UNE

Program: Improved nutrient utilisation

Project: Optimising nutritional supplement use in Australia’s northern beef industry
  • New supplementation strategies to increase efficiency when grazing tropical grasslands.
  • Economic benefits of measuring individual supplementation intake on reproduction and contribution to high versus low cow performance.
  • Benefits of incorporating Vitamin D into supplements.
  • Demonstration of value of using remote management technologies.

Capacity building: a research Masters student.

Lead organisation: UNE
Contact:
Roger Hegarty (0467 726 510)
Location: Armidale, on campus UNE

Project: Improving profit from pasture through increased feed efficiency
  • Refinement of a pasture intake algorithm in temperate cattle and proof-of-principle for tropically-adapted cattle grazing tropical and/or temperate pastures.
  • Novel supplementation regimes for optimum rumen microbiome/ function.
  • A survey of breeder properties to determine nutrient deficiencies across a range of grazing systems from northern Australia to northern NSW.
  • Identification of traits for superior grazing efficiency.

Lead organisation: CSIRO/NSW DPI
Contact:
Ed Charmley (0408 771 616), Paul Greenwood, Chris McSweeney
Location: Townsville

Project: Revise Australian feeding standards to better achieve product specifications and improve ruminant efficiency
  • Updated Australian Feeding Standards incorporating modern data on body composition to enable prediction of increasingly demanding yield and meat quality specifications.
  • Fully documented algorithms and code that will enable intermediate users to develop suitable applications to meet their targets.

Lead organisation: NSW DPI/CSIRO/UNE
Contact:
Hutton Oddy (0425 285 758)
Location: Armidale UNE campus

Program: Better decision tools

Project: Developing a framework for tactical decision making to address feed deficits
  • Tactical management options and trigger points objectively assessed using modelling and whole-economics on a matrix of sites from the southern rangelands to the high rainfall zones of south-eastern Australia.
  • A web-based interactive decision support tool to objectively assess the type and timing of tactical decisions for use by producers and extension professionals.

Lead organisation: NSW DPI
Leader:
Yohannes Alemseged (0419 926 294)
Location: Trangie

Program: Improving ruminant efficiency

Project: New generation NIRS calibrations to improve diet evaluation and animal growth predictions
  • Develop NIRS feed quality evaluation calibrations for the southern Australian feedbase.

Lead organisation: CSIRO/NSW DPI
Contact: Hayley Norman/John Piltz

Program: Improve year round feed supply

Project: Growing red meat productivity through the selection and establishment of perennial legumes
  • Evaluation of sowing methods to spatially and temporally separate grasses and legumes to advantage legumes during establishment.
  • Evaluation of sowing methods to reintroduce perennial legumes into grass dominant swards.
  • Screen perennial legume species for waterlogging tolerance and then test under on-farm management conditions.
  • Engage producers by involvement and partner activities with on-farm trialling of project findings.
  • Capacity building through 1–2 PhD candidates.

Contact: Rowan Smith (0417 380 131)
Location: Launceston

Program: Farming Systems

Nexus project: Exploring profitable, sustainable livestock businesses in an increasingly variable climate
  • Modelled impact of 2030 and 2050 climates on sheep and beef production systems.
  • Identify 10 prospective high priority research themes for sheep, beef and feedbase that mitigate the long-term impact of a changing climate.
  • Calculate greenhouse gas emissions on each individual case study farm, investigate prospective abatement or mitigation methods and modelled the impacts of these strategies on total emissions.
  • Identify the human and social capacities and capabilities required to manage the modelled scenarios at farm and industry scale. Propose strategies to assess industry readiness to respond, and engage producers and farm advisors in building capacity for adaptation and transformation.

Lead organisation: Nexus
Contact:
 Brendan Cullen (0438 549 601)
Location: Melbourne

LPP Webinar: southern forage projects

Agronomists and scientists present the most recent research and development in tropical pastures, dual-purpose crops and forage brassicas, and legumes in farming and grazing systems in northern NSW and southern QLD.

In the news

The LPP is funding a CSIRO-led project to investigate how forage brassicas could be used as a grazing alternative, with the aim of increasing producer and advisor awareness of the value of forage brassicas in mixed farming systems across Australia.