Productivity and Profitability webinars

This series of webinars are designed to assist Sheep, Cattle and Goat producers to increase the productivity and profitability of their businesses.

Register to be notified of upcoming webinars (note: you only have to register once to be notified of upcoming webinars).

A review of chemical manipulation in pastures: where are the costs and benefits? (Apr, 2, 2020)

Deliverer: Sandy McEachern, Holmes Sackett

In this webinar, Sandy McEachern of Holmes Sackett will be reviewing the research outcomes from technqiues for the chemical manipulation of perennial grass pastures namely spray grazing, spray topping and winter clearing. Sandy will discuss:

  • The costs of each of the technqiues 
  • The expected production and financial benefits

Drench resistance in cattle (Mar, 24, 2020)

Deliverer: Dr John Webb-Ware, McKinnon Project

In this webinar, John Webb-Ware of the McKinnon Project will be reporting on the drench resistance situation as it is currently known and giving recommendations for managing the development of drench resistance on beef farms. 

Feeding weaner cattle: production or maintenance? (Mar 19, 2020)

Deliverer: Ben Linn, the McKinnon Project 

In this webinar, Ben Linn from the McKinnon Project discusses the dilemma of feeding weaner cattle. Ben delves into:

  • Should weaner cattle be production fed or maintenance fed?
  • What is the most cost effective production ration?
  • What is the most cost effective maintenance ration?

Reading the restocker market (Mar 12, 2020)

Deliverer: Matt Dalglish, Mecardo

Matt Dalglish from Mecardo gives an insight into the cattle restocker market, with particular focus on:

  • How much is too much to pay?
  • What is sustainable?
  • Will the market be here to stay?

Infectious Causes of Abortion in Sheep (Feb 27, 2020)

Deliverer: Paul Nilon, Nilon Farm Health

Paul Nilon from Nilon Farm Health will be informing us on the different causes, impacts and treatments of infections causing abortions in sheep. Paul will cover off on:

  • Identifying there is a problem - how do we know?
  • Campylobacter, Toxoplasmosis and Listeriosis - what is expected and what can we do about them?
  • Other causes of abortions

Reducing Kid Loss in Meat Goats (Feb 27, 2020)

Deliverer: Gordon Refshauge, NSW DPI 

Gordon Refshauge from the NSW DPI will be delivering key information and research on kid mortality in the goat industry. Gordon will address:

  • Reproductive wasteage - summary of the literature 
  • The cost of kid loss to the industry 
  • Prevalence and causes for mortality 
  • Industry data - on-farm losses from pregnancy scanning to marking 
  • Producer surveys - pertitent take home messages 

Forecasting: The Australian Beef Market (Nov 24, 2019)

Deliverer: Matt Dalgleish
Description of topic: Matt Dalgleish from Mecardo will be discussing all things cattle markets in this MLA productivity and profitability webinar. Matt will delve into:

  • The cattle slaughter and herd estimates into 2020, including a focus on female slaughter levels
  • Beef processor margins and the impact of tighter supply
  • EYCI forecast model and the impact of a wetter outlook in 2020
  • National Heavy Steer forecast model and the impact of tight finished cattle supply

Performance in Rangeland Goat Herds (Nov 3, 2019)

John Francis of Holmes Sackett will be discussing the early stage findings from the MLA goat benchmarking project for Rangeland goat meat producers.

What, Where And When? The Use Of Nitrogen In Pastures (Part 1 of 2 Part Series - Nov 3, 2019)

Richard Eckard from the University of Melbourne will be discussing all things nitrogen. Part one of Richard's two-part webinar talk will delve into the questions:

  • What is nitrogen and why is it important in grazing systems?
  • Where does nitrogen come from and where does it go?
  • When should you be applying nitrogen to maximise efficiency?

How? The Use Of Nitrogen In Pastures (Part 2 of 2 Part Series - Nov 3, 2019) 

Richard Eckard from the University of Melbourne will be discussing all things nitrogen. Part two of Richard's two-part webinar talk will delve into the questions:

  • How should nitrogen be applied to maximise efficiency?
  • What are some rules of thumb to work towards when applying nitrogen?

Checking your cows are at optimum condition score this winter (Jun 30, 2019)

Dr Paul Nilon of Nilon Farm Health discusses the importance of condition scoring cattle and setting condition score targets throughout winter. This webinar includes important information about:

  • What is conditioning scoring
  • How to condition score
  • The uses of condition scoring
  • Setting condition score targets for reproduction stages
  • Nutritional planning
  • Meeting minimal animal welfare standards.

Update on Beef and Lamb Benchmarks (Jun 30, 2019)

In this webinar Holmes Sacketts Director Sandy McEachern updates the beef and lamb industry on key benchmarks of beef and lamb enterprises coming from the 2017/18 benchmark year.

The 2017/18 benchmark year saw the top 20% get the balance right between income, costs and production. A balance which is important to take advantage of the below average season but forgiving market prices. Sandy delves into the Holmes Sackett benchmark data which consists of over 180 businesses from south eastern Australia and delivers how beef and lamb stack up relative to each other and also how the top producers from each enterprise are achieving their results. Watch this webinar to learn about:

  • What were the key profit drivers for beef enterprises for 2017/18
  • What were the key profit drivers for lamb enterprises for 2017/18
  • What are the take home messages from the 2017/18 benchmark data

The Booming Goat Industry – An Introductory Overview (Jul 7, 2019)

Trudy Atkinson of NSW DPI will provided an introductory overview of the Australian goat meat industry. In 2018, Australia processed 1.7 million goats. The industry sold 21,000 tonnes of goat meat and 21,000 live goats to international markets. The total export value was $190 million. Producers are currently receiving 938 c/kg cwt for their product.

View this webinar for important information about:

  • The production systems and supply chains that deliver goat meat to domestic and international markets
  • Supply, price and population trends
  • Major markets and global demand for goat meat
  • R&D projects, which are supporting industry development.

The Quest for a More Productive Meat Goat (Sep 30, 2019)

Colin Ramsay will be giving a progress report on numerous MLA supported projects looking into developing an Australian-adapted meat goat that will improve productivity and profitability in commercial production herds.
The work on kid survival, carcass merits, fertility, worm resistance and other production traits is showing that signiPerformance in Rangeland Goat Herdsficant improvements can be achieved. This progress report identifies and highlights simple measures that can be used by meat producers and seed-stock breeders to raise their productivity and profitability.

Heterosis in Beef Enterprises (Jan 13, 2020)

Wayne Pitchford from University of Adelaide discusses the effects of heterosis in beef herds and questioning whether it really is a free lunch. Wayne delves into:

  • What is heterosis and what effects does it have on herd productivity? 
  • Seperating breed effects from heterosis
  • What the advantages of hybrid vigour are for your herd
  • Results from the recent Black Baldy trial


Selecting a Prime Lamb Lambing Date (Jan 13, 2020)

Time of lambing is a balance between a number of production and market factors which need to be weighed up to maximise profit in a lamb enterprise. John Webb-Ware from the University of Melbourne takes us through a range of scenarios to determine the optimal lambing time for your lamb business. This webinar outlines: 

  • Why the time of lambing is important for a prime lamb enterprise?
  • How to maximise value and quantity of lamb produced? 
  • How to determine the most profitable system with the lowest risk for your region?


Heterosis in Lamb Enterprises (Jan 14, 2020)

Neal Fogarty from Neal Fogarty Consulting discusses the effects of heterosis in prime lamb flocks. Neal delves into: 

  • Where hybrid vigour expresses itself in sheep and how much productivity is gained in these areas
  • How much hybrid vigour is gained from a simple crossbred system?
  • How to integrate selection and heterosis to maximise performance?


African Swine Fever: Impacts on the Australian red meat market (Jan 14, 2020)

Andrew Whitelaw from Mecardo will shinies the spotlight on African Swine Fever, delving into: 

  • The impact of African Swine Fever on protein markets 
  • The potential biosecurity risk posed to Australia 
  • The impact of the Fever on other commodities such as grain 
  • The short and long term benefits for Australian producers. 

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