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Improving Beef Productivity
The overall objective was too explore if there is a cost benefit in applying mineral sprays to pasture to optimise beef production The specific measurable objectives were:
1) Measure the expected growth rate benefit of at least 200 gm/day in livestock grazing foliar sprayed pasture compared to the same class of livestock grazing similar un-treated (control) pasture;
2) Train producer members to monitor the expected impact of the foliar spray on pasture growth and consumption in terms of kg DM/Ha & kg LW gain before and after grazing. Given that 1 kg weight gain equates to approximately 35 MJ consumed & green feed contains about 11 MJ/kg DM, 1 kg live weight gain equates to approximately 3 kg DM consumed. Therefore a steer in the treated group growing at 200 gm/day should gain 6 kg (or $9 @ $1.50 / kg LWG) more than a steer in the control group over 30 days & this equates to an additional consumption of 18 kg DM or 900 kg DM per 50 steers. This variation in weight gain & pasture on offer should be detected through normal monitoring;
3) Train producer members to monitor the expected elevation in nutrient levels in the pasture, via tissue analysis, and animals, via blood sampling, on sprayed paddocks compared to control paddocks. Tissue & blood samples taken at the start & end of the trial should highlight the anticipated differences; 4) Undertake a cost benefit analysis on the foliar spray application in relation to measured outcomes. The anticipated benefit given 8 dse steers stocked at 2 steers / ha and spray costs of $4 / ha equate to $5 profit per steer per month.
This page was last updated on 24/07/2017
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