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Sustainable development of VRD grazing lands (extension)

Project start date: 02 April 2007
Project end date: 16 June 2008
Publication date: 01 February 2013
Project status: Completed
Livestock species: Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
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This project investigated the potential for pastoral intensification in the Victoria River District (VRD) of the NT to increase the profitability of the northern beef industry in the face of rising costs. The results suggested that intensification can increase a property’s profitability without adverse effects on land condition or biodiversity in the short term. The keys to this are the use of sustainable pasture utilisation rates and appropriate development of paddocks and water points. Grazing management based on set pasture utilisation appeared to be the most profitable grazing system. The use of advanced technologies such as telemetry to manage water points can offer improvements in efficiency and cost savings. About half the properties in the VRD have the potential for intensification because they currently operate with pasture utilisation rates below the recommended 20%. Intensification of these properties could see an increase in cattle numbers in the VRD of about 154,000 AE, generating an additional annual gross margin of about $17m. The project identified a series of guidelines for the sustainable development of properties and also a number of recommendations for the protection of biodiversity under pastoral intensification.

More information

Project manager: Mick Quirk
Primary researcher: CSIRO