MLA’s research and development (R&D) investment into the feedbase aims to ensure short and long-term productivity and sustainability of livestock production and nutrition.
These initiatives support the development of resilient plants, improved management practices and better utilisation of forages, while reducing the impact of pests and weeds on the feedbase.
Further R&D investment into the feedbase will ensure livestock can be delivered to market specifications, while maintaining the underpinning soil, water and nutrient resources.
MLA’s feedbase R&D investments primarily focus on:
- investigating soil health indicators to improve plant health
- assessing nitrogen dynamics of annual and perennial pastures
- matching pasture production, grazing approach and animals' requirements to achieve market specifications
- investigating grazing and stocking approaches for long-term pasture persistence
- commissioning initiatives to support whole-farm integration of feedbase essentials (crops, pastures, shrubs, livestock) to increase natural resource efficiency
- increasing collaboration between enterprises to ensure an efficient use of resources to decrease cost of production and increase productivity of the feedbase
- investigating new plants and varieties with improved genetic gain and biological controls for pest animals and plants that impact on the feedbase.
Benefits to industry
- R&D investment into better grazing utilisation and management of forages ensures long-term sustainability of red meat production by accommodating changing climates and ecosystems, improving feed efficiency and reducing production costs.
- New forage plants and varieties create a feedbase that provides highly nutritious feed to grazing livestock to improve animal and herd feed intake, weight gain and carcase yield.
- Effective control and management of invasive pests and weeds improves the health and welfare of grazing cattle, whilst simultaneously securing a high quantity and quality feedbase for the red meat industry.