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Feedlot management

Feedlot R&D overview

Through research, development (R&D) and adoption activities, MLA’s feedlot investments aim to increase the productivity and profitability of feedlots, reduce operational inputs and costs and underpin the sustainability of the sector.

The development and implementation of tools and technologies seek to reduce the impacts of animal disease, improve animal welfare and reduce operational costs.

Opportunities exist to further improve the environmental sustainability of the feedlot industry, reduce the impact of disease and heat stress, and contribute to an overall positive public perception of the sector.

Core activities

  • Animal health R&D investments focus on vaccine development, antimicrobial resistance and disease surveillance.
  • Animal welfare R&D investments work to improve overall husbandry and quality of life for feedlot cattle, which includes improved bedding materials, minimising the impact of heat stress and decreasing the impacts of lairage.
  • R&D investments in feedlot productivity improve weight gain to increase carcase yield, reduce dag formation and evaluate nutritional strategies (grain processing, water quality and feed additives) to increase feed efficiency and carcase characteristics.
  • Feedlot sustainability R&D investments include feeding trials to reduce enteric methane emissions using feed additives, developing technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and evaluating strategies to improve feedlot energy and water use efficiency.

Benefits to industry

  • Feedlots play an essential role in ‘drought proofing’ Australia’s beef industry by enabling a consistent supply of beef to domestic and international markets.
  • Adoption of effective R&D outcomes maintains the social licence of feedlots in areas of animal welfare and environmental management. It also reduces operational inputs and costs, which increases overall profitability of the sector.
  • Better evaluation, monitoring and surveillance of resistance in parasites and pathogens reduces the impacts of disease on animal health and feedlot productivity.