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).
Meat Standards Australia Update
Meat Standards Australia (MSA) was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve the eating quality consistency of beef and sheepmeat. Laura Garland from MLA provides an update on the MSA program, how it continues to create opportunities for producers and how to make the most of your carcase data. Key points will include:
• Changes we've made to vendor declarations and how to access these.
• Updates to the MSA model.
• Using myMSA and it's reporting and benchmarking features to monitor carcase performance.
Phosphorus application in mixed farming
In this webinar, David Crowley from Delta Agribusiness talks through phosphorus management in mixed farming operations - when to add P into the rotation to maximise pasture growth:
- P removal relative to stocking rate
- Soil testing and targeting Colwell P levels of >30
- Length of pasture/crop rotation and variation between best practice relative to rainfall environment
- How pH influences pasture performance and ability to utilise applied P
Replacement heifer management
Replacement heifer management
Having a heifer management plan in place from pre-joining to calving is essential to improve the overall reproductive performance of breeding herds. In this jam-packed webinar Wayne Pitchford from the university of Adelaide will take the audience through:
- Selecting heifers to remain in the breeding herd
- Tips to improve heifer conceptions rates
- Tips heifer calving performance
In this webinar, Lexie Leonard from Livestock Logic will talk the audience through pink eye management in weaner cattle and discuss what prevention and treatment options are available. Lexie will delve into:
- The contributing factors that lead to pinkeye outbreaks
- Prevention strategies and the role of vaccine and why the commercial vaccine has become less effective on some properties
- When treatment is worthwhile and what is recommended treatment
Under live webinar conditions, incorrect information was provided in this webinar about specific drench products and their impact on dung beetles. Cydectin, the product in question, has an on label registration that outlines the following with regard to dung beetle impacts:
When applied as directed, the levels of [Cydectin cattle products] in the faeces of treated cattle are not likely to have any significant adverse effects on the following dung beetles: Onthophagus gazella, O.taurus, Euoniticellus intermedius and E.fulvus. Effects on other dung beetle species have not been fully evaluated.
For information specific to Cydectin’s impact on dung beetles, please refer to the Virbac Website or research referenced on their website to support the information provided. For independent information regarding the effects of various animal health products on dung beetle populations, please refer to WormBoss. For additional independent information about dung beetles generally, various resources are available on the MLA Website.
Dr Alison Gunn of Herd Solutions discusses the management options for calf scours this breeding season, including:
- When are alf scours likely to occur and what are the impacts?
- How to identify and diagnose calf scours?
- What are the recommended prevention strategies?
Dr Paul Nilon of Nilon Farm Health discusses the management options for grass tetany in cattle. Paul answers the questions:
- What is grass tetany and when does it occur?
- How do I manage grass tetany in my herd?
Dr Bruce Allworth of Charles Sturt University discusses the management options for bloat in cattle, including:
- What is bloat and why does it occur?
- What are the most cost effective management options?
Dr Michael McGowan of the University of Queensland discusses the common reproductive diseases in cattle and answers the following questions:
- What is the normal rate of loss between pregnancy testing through calf marking?
- If you are outside these rates what are the most prevalent disease related causes and how do you ensure a program to minimise their impact?
- What are some of the less common issues, and what to do about it.
In this webinar, John Webb-Ware of the McKinnon Project reports on the drench resistance situation as it is currently known and gives recommendations for managing the development of drench resistance on beef farms.
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?
Dr Paul Nilon of Nilon Farm Health discusses the importance of condition scoring cattle and setting condition score targets throughout winter. Other key points include:
- 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.
Weaner sheep management
Weaner sheep management
Sue Hatcher from Makin Outcomes will assist webinar participants in:
- understanding the key issues affecting weaner survival and performance and
- guide them through developing targets for growth for this key cohort of sheep.
This webinar will discuss factors that contribute to weaner mortality and ill thrift, and provides practical pathways for improving performance.
Foot issues in sheep
Foot issues in sheep
As a wet winter approaches producers will be monitoring for signs of lameness in their flock. Professor Bruce Allworth will be taking the audience through what the different types of foot issues are and how to prevent and treat them to minimise production losses.
Lifting Lamb Survival
Lifting Lamb Survival
Australian sheep producers have lifted lamb survival rates significantly over the past decade, however there is always room for further improvement. Nathan Scott will provide an overview of the key factors affecting lamb survival and give practical tips on how to improve lamb survival in your own flock. Nathan will delve into :
- Strategies to improve lamb survival and reduce ewe wastage
- Best practice management for lambing
- Prepare ewes and their lambing paddocks to enable better lambing
Breeding ewes are an important asset for sheep enterprises, with late pregnancy and lambing the highest risk period for mortalities.
- Mary McQuillan will share the findings from recent Australian studies uncovering the major causes of ewe mortality in the lead up to and at the time of lambing.
- Our expert panel will then discuss the ‘big hitters’ affecting ewes in different production systems, and
- delve into the tools available for sheep enterprises to manage risk and optimise survival of ewes and their lambs.
Caroline Jacobson of Murdoch University shares new research on the hidden costs associated with difficult birth (dystocia) for Australian sheep enterprises.
- How to improve lamb and ewe survival rates
- How you can assess the impacts of dystocia for your own enterprise, and
- Measures with the most potential to improve farm profit and animal welfare.
Aggregate Consulting advisor Hilary Beech updates the industry on key benchmarks of prime lamb enterprises from 2019/20.
- How did prime lamb enterprise financial performance fair in the 2019/20 drought
- What were the key profit drivers for prime lamb enterprises for 2019/20
- What are the take-home messages from 2019/20 benchmark data
Bruce discusses the nature of ovine brucellosis, it’s effects on the reproductive performance of sheep flocks. Bruce covers:
- How B.Ovis works
- How it costs you money
- How to test for it
- What to do if you have B.ovis
- What to do if you don’t have it and want to prevent it
Tom Keogh summarises current trial work on feeding regimes targeting pre and post weaning growth rates in lambs, this webinar covers:
- What drives growth rates in lambs both pre and post weaning
- The effectiveness of creep feeding
- Preparation and adaptation of lambs to high concentrate diets.
In this webinar Jess Richards demonstrates how to adjust the percentage of merino ewes mated to terminals whilst maintaining a productive flock structure. Jess will also:
- Demonstrate the number of merino ewes that can be mated to terminals whilst maintaining a self-replacing merino flock.
- Look at opportunities for selections of ewes to join to terminals
- Discuss the impact of additional traits on a dual selection strategy
- Highlight the importance of ram selection.
Dr John Webb Ware discusses the impacts on retaining older aged ewes to build flock numbers, including:
- How do breed types differ in response to management in older age groups, ie. merino ewes vs crossbred ewes?
- What are the impacts of the change in flock structure on the production system?
- What are the key considerations in managing the health of older ewes?
Dr Bruce Allworth of Charles Sturt University discusses when is the best time to wean crossbred lambs off crossbred ewes. Bruce also covers:
- When do ewes cease lactation?
- Is 14 weeks still the best option for weaning if you lamb in July?
- What are the factors to consider when determining your weaning date?
Dr Matt Playford of Dawbuts Animal Health updates southern sheep producers on the current status of drench resistance in worms, including:
- Update producers on effective drench combinations
- Discuss best practice to delay the onset of drench resistance
- Cover how to protect your property from a biosecurity point of view.
Paul Nilon from Nilon Farm Health discusses the different causes, impacts and treatments of infections causing abortions in sheep. Including;
- 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.
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?
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.
Reducing Kid Loss in Meat Goats
Reducing Kid Loss in Meat Goats
Gordon Refshauge from the NSW DPI delivers key information and research on kid mortality in the goat industry. Gordon addresses:
- Reproductive wasteage - summary of the literature
- The cost of kid loss to the industry
- Prevalence and causes of mortality
- Industry data - on-farm losses from pregnancy scanning to marking
- Producer surveys - pertitent take-home messages.
John Francis of Holmes Sackett discusses the early stage findings from the MLA goat benchmarking project for Rangeland goat meat producers.
Colin Ramsay gives 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 significant improvement in the performance in Rangeland Goat Herds 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.
Trudy Atkinson of NSW DPI 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.
Pasture dieback is a condition which causes the death of sown and native pastures by affecting plant health and function, reducing the productivity of affected properties. It has been observed in a range of soil types and plant species across Queensland and northern NSW. In this webinar, Caroline will deliver:
- Current and ongoing research results
- The experience in northern NSW
- Where producers can find info or be involved in a program
Oestrogenic clovers – identification and remediation
Recent surveys conducted in the medium to high rainfall zones of southern Australia have found that old cultivars of subterranean clover remain common in many pastures. Some of these cultivars contain high levels of oestrogenic compounds which can negatively impact sheep health. Kevin Foster, from the University of Western Australia, will take the audience through:
- How does grazing highly oestrogenic sub clovers affect livestock?
- Which cultivars are high in oestrogens?
- How do you manage a paddock if you suspect a problem?
Preferential clovers to sow in southern pastures
In this webinar, Tim Prance from T Prance Rural Consulting updates southern Australian producers on preferential clovers to sow in pastures. Tim delves into:
- How to select cultivars and species to suit soils
- Sowing time and practices
- How to establish and get the most out of the pasture
Michele Jolliffe of Agriculture Victoria discusses the issue of how to best handle huge surpluses of fodder in the 2020 spring, incuding:
- Hints and tips for making quality hay and silage
- Hay or silage? Which option might suit my business
- Quality or quantity? Which should I aim for?
- Long term storage options for hay and silage.
Are you needing to clean out those pesky annuals from your perennial grass pastures? Do you have some agronomy questions you need answered before you get the spray gear out?
Jim Virgona of Graminus Consulting and Tim Prance of T. Prance Rural Consulting answer those burning agronomy questions and provide their own experience.
Dr Jim Virgona of Graminus Consulting discusses the effects of cold temperatures on pasture production. Jim delves into:
- When is cold temperature the limiting factor?
- How does temperature impact nitrogen response?
- How does temperature impact plant production in different perennial species?
In this webinar, Sandy McEachern of Holmes Sackett reviews the research outcomes from techniques for the chemical manipulation of perennial grass pastures namely spray grazing, spray topping and winter clearing. Sandy discusses:
- The costs of each of the techniques
- The expected production and financial benefits.
Richard Eckard from the University of Melbourne discusses 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?
Richard Eckard from the University of Melbourne discusses 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?
Red Meat Market Update
As we jump into the new financial year Stuart Bull from MLA will give the audience an update on the Australian red meat market. Stuart will address:
- The state of red meat supply in Australia
- Key export markets and how they are tracking
- Outlooks for the Australian red meat industry
An update on the 2019/20 Aggregate Consulting beef benchmarks
An update on the 2019/20 Aggregate Consulting beef benchmarks
In this webinar, Aggregate Consulting Director Sandy McEachern updates the beef industry on key benchmarks of beef enterprises from the 2019/20 benchmark year. Sandy will delve into Aggregates benchmark data which consists of 200 businesses from south-eastern Australia and will decipher how the top beef producers managed their enterprises during the drought.
- How did beef enterprise financial performance fair in the 2019/20 drought
- What were the key profit drivers for beef enterprises for 2019/20
- What are the take-home messages from the 2019/20 benchmark data.
As lead analyst of the October 2020 MLA cattle projections update Stuart Bull talks us through:
- If the herd has entered the rebuild phase
- What factors are supporting the current market and will they remain
- What are the impacts of COVID-19
Matthew Dalgleish of Thomas Elder Markets provides an update on the impacts of COVID-19 on the Australian lamb market, including:
- What is the situation with the current export market?
- How is domestic supply shaping up as we wade through this season?
- What are the forecasts for the Australian lamb market?
Matt Dalglish from Mecardo gives an insight into the potential impact of COVID-19 on the Australian red meat market. Focussing on beef and sheep markets Matt looks into possible scenarios resulting from the global pandemic and what it means for producers.
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?
In this webinar, Andrew Whitelaw from Mecardo shines 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.
Matt Dalgleish from Mecardo discusses all things cattle markets in this MLA productivity and profitability webinar. Matt delves 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.
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.