Back to Research & Development

Subscribe to R&D Round-Up newsletter

Stay informed with a short, sharp monthly summary of MLA’s latest research reports.

Sign up

Running a sustainable grazing business

Running a grazing business can be both rewarding and profitable.  

It is possible to increase profitability, improve the efficiency and environmental performance of your property and achieve greater satisfaction from your involvement in the grazing industries.

Generalised management ’recipes’ are not possible - or desirable - for all circumstances, but key underlying principles and critical management factors form the basis of a productive and sustainable system.

What makes a sustainable grazing business?

A sustainable grazing system is a process of continuous improvement that balances the following six general requirements and prioritises them for a particular farm situation:

  1. Increase productivity and profit from the grazing system
  2. Increase water use efficiency in the grazing system
  3. Protect the on-farm natural resources
  4. Create more opportunities for biodiversity
  5. Reduce off-site impacts from the grazing system
  6. Improve producer satisfaction, motivation and capacity to implement change 

Financial, social and environmental issues are all important in achieving a sustainable grazing business, but you have to work out the appropriate balance for your property. 

Triple bottom line

Profit is often considered the most common measure of the short-term health of a grazing business, but social and environmental factors underpin the ability to make a long-term, future profit - this is the Triple Bottom Line. To be sustainable, all three elements must be in balance.

Available tools

Greenhouse Accounting Frameworks

These tools use the latest Australian National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) method, to predict the magnitude and sources of Greenhouse Gasses emitted from Australia beef or sheep farms.

Manuals and guides

Find out more about sustainable grazing systems in:

I want to...

Benchmark my current enterprise

Establish my business goals and objectives

Calculate my cost of production