MLA invests in research and development (R&D) to improve the reproductive efficiency of livestock, with the aim to increase the fertility of cattle, sheep and goats, and the survival of calves, lambs and kids through strategic management practices.
In the Australian livestock industry, the reproductive efficiency of cattle and sheep is below expectation and generally agreed industry norms. This represents a significant opportunity to improve the production of livestock and the subsequent productivity of a herd through best practice and management interventions that focus on improved genetics, perinatal survival, nutrition and husbandry of cattle, sheep and goats.
R&D into improved reproductive efficiency primarily focuses on:
- improving fertility through animal breeding research and advancements in artificial breeding
- understanding and mitigating the causes of calf, lamb and kid loss through on-farm research that is supported by adoption programs to improve on-farm practices
- documenting the impact of calf, lamb and kid loss on the profitability of an enterprise and working towards reducing these impacts.
Benefits to industry
Investment in reproductive efficiency R&D is designed to increased productivity and profitability through:
- increasing breeder herd and flock fertility
- improving livestock survival rates
- improving the rate of calving, lambing and kidding
- reducing the number of lost opportunities for pregnancy and birth.