EXPANDING feedbase options and increasing feed efficiency in livestock is the focus of 11 new research projects worth a total of $35 million over five years, announced today under the Livestock Productivity Partnership (LPP).
The LPP is a collaborative research and development partnership involving MLA Donor Company, NSW Department of Primary Industries, University of New England and CSIRO, aimed at boosting livestock productivity and developing new research and development capacity.
The goal of the LPP is to contribute to a national increase in productivity improvement in the livestock industry from 1 per cent to 2.5pc per year by developing regional and system-specific feedbase options, and new animal phenotyping and farm management tools, primarily for producers in NSW and southern and central Queensland.
LPP Chair Dr Ian Johnsson said the 11 new projects cover key areas of red meat productivity gains that grassroots producers have asked for.
“They include research into grazing systems, from new pasture varieties to fertiliser management, as well as strategic research into more efficient animals and novel supplement delivery systems,” Dr Johnsson said.
“Research and development will focus on feedbase options to help producers address changing weather patterns and more variable rainfall patterns.
“In NSW for example, projects are looking at new options for pastures and crops that will respond to increased summer rainfall.
“There are also new technologies and scientific approaches that will be utilised to help address feed efficiency in ruminants so we can boost production and ensure the industry remains competitive with other proteins.”
The projects include:
- Dual-purpose crops for lamb production in northern NSW.
- Improving the use of forage brassicas in mixed farming systems.
- Novel dual purpose perennial cereals for grazing.
- Increasing livestock production by integrating tropical pastures into farming systems.
- Extending the boundaries of legume adaptation through better soil management in high rainfall zones.
- Phosphorus management and requirements of tropical legume pasture swards.
- Perennial pasture and forage combinations to extend summer feed in southern NSW.
- Optimising nutritional supplement use in Australia’s northern beef industry.
- Improving profit from pasture through increased feed efficiency.
- Revise Australian feeding standards to better achieve product specifications and improve ruminant efficiency.
- Developing a framework for tactical decision making to address feed deficits.
MLA’s managing director Richard Norton said the LPP demonstrates the importance of multi-partner collaborations to develop new tools and management practices that producers can adopt on-farm to help boost their businesses.
“Combining the skills and resources of the LPP partners prevents duplication and enables accelerated research, development and adoption on farm. It also fosters early career researchers and builds long-term capacity for the red meat and livestock industry,” Mr Norton said.
“The LPP funding structure doesn’t use any producer levies, but the project outcomes will ultimately benefit producers and all parts of the value chain.”