Assessing the value of changing beef breeder herd management strategy in northern Australia

The scope for improving the economic and financial performance of beef businesses by changing breeder herd management practices and reproduction efficiency was investigated across a range of regions in northern Australia from early 2013 to late 2015. Case studies and desktop analyses were applied to identify the relative and absolute value of altering management strategies such as: weaning, pregnancy testing, herd segregation, supplementation, genetic improvement, mating, culling, infrastructure investment, enterprise selection, herd bull use and age of turnoff. In more extensive herds with uncontrolled mating, emphasis was placed on answering the question: what are the costs of out-of-season calving? The project provided insight into: • the value of changing management strategies, • the capacity of industry participants to appropriately assess the value of strategies, • the nature and value of indicators applied by industry to assess strategies. Analysis identified that a relatively large proportion (>50%) of the changes in management strategy selected by project co-operators were unlikely to improve profit, with about one-third likely to significantly reduce profit. The inability of beef business managers to nominate profitable changes in management strategy was due, in large part, to a lack of appropriate skills in identifying the most profitable option for change and to the use of spurious indicators unlikely to assist in the identification of profitable change. The provision of decision support frameworks that incorporate an appropriate disciplinary balance and focus on developing skills and knowledge are identified as important in helping beef enterprise managers make better choices.


Issue Date:
Feb 07 2017
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Language:
English
Total Pages:
28




 Record created 2017-07-06, last modified 2017-08-29

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