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Beef Production & Quality Trial on Old Man Saltbush

The catalyst ​​for this trial had been the experience of one of the members of the group, at Gu​Iargambone in the Central Western Plains of New South Wales in 1993, with cattle in poor condition grazed on old man saltbush and then on green pastures and winter forage crop.

Fourteen of 62 cattle from a mob bought off the Queensland stock routes in March 1993 had averaged 312 kg when placed on a 6.8 ha plantation of old man saltbtish in early Aprilwhen conditions were also dry at GUIargambone. The same cattle weighed 50 days later had averaged 370 kg, a liveweight gain of 58 kg in 50 days of grazing of old man saltbush in which, after the first week, at a grazing rate equivalentto aimost 10 beast per ha, there was no grass or herbage

left in the paddock.

The 6.8 ha plantation of old man saltbushprovided 3,100 cow grazing days, or 456 cgds per ha, equivalentt0 1.25 beasts per ha year-long.

in the currenttria150 beasts, previously on green pastures, were weighed on 28/4/94 and placed with other cattle of sinnlar age classes on three types offeed :-

(a) 10 beasts on native pastures (with indigeriised medics),

(b) 30 beasts on a plantation of old man saltbush,

(c) 10 beasts on old man saltbtish plus grain (oats) at an estimated 3 kg per day provided through a self-feeder able to ration the supply of grain to the cattle.

The groups of cattle on the three feed types have been weighed on six occasions since the ittitialweighing on 28/4/94 - on days 29, 56, 90, 125, 165 and 193 days after the initial weighing ---the final weighing being on 8th. November, 1994

It had been proposed that two lots of 10 of the thirty beasts on old man saltbush would later be moved to a green feed crop or green pasture after different periods of grazing on the old martsaltbush. However, there had not been

sufficient rain in the latter half of 1994 in the GUIargambone districtto warrant sowing a green feed crop norto produce any green pasture, although the cattle

had come off green pasture at the begirming of the trial.

Seasonal conditions throughoutthe trial have been such that the cattle on the native pastures (with indigenised medics) after gaming weight at the second and third weighings, had lost weight badly at the fourth weighing as the pastures dried off, even though they had been moved to a new paddock offresh pasture. The owner became so concerned with their declining condition that he decided to feed hay to preventthem from deteriorating further and to enable them to maintain condition,

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1.6MB 01/12/1997

This page was last updated on 11/11/2014

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