Looking at your business objectively

07 December 2017

Less than 10% of producers attending a Bred Well Fed Well beef workshop have a formal breeding objective for their enterprise, according to deliverer, agricultural consultant Chris Mirams.

Get it down on paper

Chris ensures 100% finish the day with an articulated and recorded breeding objective. He said writing down the production goals important to them allows producers to map out clear, measurable targets as a foundation for management.

“This breeding objective starts with a narrative, ‘I would like to…’, and should describe the producer’s aims in simple and measurable terms.  We discuss how important each single objective is to the producer and to the enterprise profit, trade-offs and then quantify the desired gains in each trait," he said.

“During the Bred Well Fed Well workshop, we translate these objectives into ‘genetic language’ using estimated breeding values (EBVs), so producers can determine and prioritise the EBVs that are best suited to their own production system."

Make it measurable

Chris said the success of a holistic management approach hinges on measurable targets, so the program challenges producers to take a good, hard look at their business goals.

“We ask producers to create clear breeding objectives at the start of the workshop, based on the characteristics of their business such as target markets, environmental considerations, pasture, infrastructure, management constraints, what they like or dislike and most importantly how they intend to manage the breeding cow,” he said.

“The more traits producers select for, the less genetic gain they will make in each trait. We encourage producers to focus on the four or five EBVs which are profit drivers for their own business so they can select bulls that will move their herd in the right genetic direction.” 

Mapping individual breeding objectives is just one part of Bred Well Fed Well Beef. This MLA-supported program is taking beef producers through the steps to set personalised breeding targets, and match genetics, breeding and feeding to these goals to boost productivity and profitability.

Now adapted for beef

On the back of five successful years in the sheep industry, the practical content of the Bred Well Fed Well program has been adapted to suit the beef sector.

Instead of looking at profit drivers in isolation, Bred Well Fed Well Beef takes a whole-of-enterprise approach, guiding producers to link key decisions about superior genetics, managing heifers and cows and providing the right nutrition.

The one-day Bred Well Fed Well workshop includes hands-on practical activities, such as assessing bulls, developing a breeding objective and condition scoring. There is a participation fee of $75/person with a minimum of 15 people required.

Tips and tools – developing a breeding objective:

To find out more or register your interest in attending or hosting a workshop, contact:

Serina Hancock
T: 0403 570 823 
E: s.hancock@murdoch.edu.au

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