Beef and Sheep Networks – Newsflash
BESTWOOL / BESTLAMB
February edition out now for more information click here: AWI woolgrowers' newsletter - February 2012
|When:||Tuesday 3rd April 2012|
|Where:||Boort Memorial Hall|
|9.30am to 3.15pm|
|RSVP:||Tuesday 27th March 2012|
Making More from Sheep and partners would like to invite producers to an informative day to provide rural producers and agribusiness with current new pasture and green feed options for Northern Victoria. Presentations will be held throughout the day on the following topics;
- What can good pastures achieve?
- Case Study – Local farmer
- Managing the key risks of farming, climate, weather and the price variability of grains, meat and wool
- Cereal Fodder Crops
- Case Study – Nullawil Pasture Development Site
- Case Study - Perennial Pastures
- Brassica fodder crops
- Low rainfall options perennial shrubs
- Q & A Panel – What further information do farmers need to know about pastures
- How to decide what is the next pasture step – Set up your own trial site
For more information and to register please contact Erical Schelfhorst, DPI (03 5430 45601 or * firstname.lastname@example.org
EverGraze, BWBL and Making More from Sheep will host in partnership, a national phone seminar on lamb survival to be held 11th May at 12pm to 1pm (EST). The seminar will promote the key messages documented in the recently released Evergraze Lamb Survival Exchange. Stay tuned for more details.
The EverGraze Lamb Survival Exchange, authored by Dr Bindi King, Dr Michael Friend, Dr Ralph Berhendt and Anita Morant, is now available online. This publication provides an excellent review of the causes of lamb mortatility and the considerations for improving survival.
For more information click here: EverGraze Fact Sheets.
Sheep CRC FarmDay is an event that offers a city family the opportunity to spend a day on a working farm to learn how farmers produce our food and fibre. A city family is matched with a farm family for a day over the weekend of 26 and 27 May 2012. The city family travels to the farm, and together the families share a day of fun, friendship and understanding.
For more information click here: FarmDay 2012
Woolgrowers are invited to share their wool stories and in doing so help market their own fibre.
The Fibre of Our Nation competition aims to uncover the best marketing material from amongst Australian woolgrowers. By compiling the real life stories of Australian woolgrowers, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) is developing a bank of marketing images and stories to take to retail, brand and manufacturing partners around the world.
For more information click here: New competition celebrates the Fibre of our Nation
Sheep meat producers are expected to be the biggest winners over the short and medium term, according to an agricultural commodity forecast released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
According to the report, farm earnings are expected to rise by 9.4% in this financial year to $35.5 billion, up $3 billion on 2010-11. ABARES executive director Paul Morris said sheep meat was expected to rise 22% in 2012-13, with raw cotton up 9%, canola up 2% and beef and veal predicted to rise 1%. “Over the medium term, to 2016-17, the value of farm exports is projected to be maintained around the current level in real terms,” he said. “By 2016-17, the value of farm exports is projected to be around $35.1 billion, in 2011-12 dollars.”
For more information click here: KondininGroup.com.au - Media Release
For more information on the current agricultural commodity forecast click here: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The SheepGENOMICS program was designed to deliver DNA markers for commercial breeding programs. A resource flock of almost 5000 ewes joined over 2 years to 21 industry sires was established, and progeny were extensively phenotyped and genotyped with DNA markers. Here, we describe the experimental design and sample collection procedures, and provide a summary of the basic measurements taken.
To read more on the Design and Phenotyping Procedures for Recording Wool, Skin, Parasite Resistance, Growth, Carcass Yield and Quality Traits of the SheepGENOMICS Mapping Flock click here : CSIRO PUBLISHING - Animal Production Science
The MSA ‘Graded’ logo
MSA continues to grow
Since January this year, Woolworths began offering beef displaying the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) graded logo as seen below, placing the MSA name in front of consumers, while guaranteeing consistent eating quality, including tenderness, flavour and juiciness.
With an 11% increase in national MSA graded carcases in the last financial year, the 1.4 million head of cattle graded shows continued strong demand for the product. State increases in grading for 2009-10 to 2010-11 are Victoria 267% rise, Tasmania 24% rise, with SA, Qld and WA having approximately 10% rises.
The quality of carcases can be determined by the MSA compliance rate, averaging 94.3% 1ast year. The remaining 5.7% (81,000 head) did not meet MSA requirements, this is where we should be focusing to improve. The most common reasons for non-compliance are still dark meat colour and high pH levels (Figure 1). A carcase may fail to meet MSA specifications for more than one reason.
Figure 1: MSA Non-Compliance Breakdown 2010-11 (Source: MSA 2010-11 Annual Report)
Causes of Dark Cutting Beef
Meat colour and pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity) are closely linked. Meat measured as darker than MSA requirement of meat colour 3 (Figure 2) or with a pH greater than 5.7, is often referred to as dark cutting beef (Figure 3).
Dark cutting beef is likely to be less tender, have a shorter shelf life and be more prone to bacterial spoilage, as bacteria will grow more rapidly due to moisture and high pH (more neutral environment). Dark cutting beef also has a higher water holding capacity, so the meat will lose moisture during cooking and become dry.
Figure 2: Measuring Meat Colour
Figure 3: Top: Dark cutting beef pH >5.7, Bottom: Normal beef pH 5.3-5.7
The main determinant of dark cutting beef is pre-slaughter muscle glycogen (energy stored within an animals muscle). After slaughter the glycogen (energy) is converted to lactic acid, through a process called glycolysis. As the lactic acid accumulates, it causes the meat pH to decline from the neutral value of 7.2 in the live animal, with greater declines if a greater quantity of glycogen was available to begin with. As the pH falls through 6.0, the muscle goes into rigor and starts to stiffen. Normal or desirable final pH levels are reached at 5.3 to 5.7.
Managing for Meat Colour and pH
Dark cutting beef is linked with nutrition and stress, the two key components affecting stored muscle glycogen (energy) level. In general, an animal that has been well fed prior to slaughter and had minimal pre slaughter stress, will have lots of energy in its muscles and reach a pH of 5.5 about 24 hours after slaughter.
If only a small quantity of glycogen was in the muscle pre-slaughter, the limited production of lactic acid will result in a higher pH, above 5.8. For example an animal that has been on a low energy diet or that has been stressed prior to slaughter, will have less lactic acid and will have a higher pH, causing dark cutting beef.
To reduce your chances of failing to meet MSA requirements for meat colour and pH, ensure you fill your cattle’s energy reserves on farm and reduce as many stressors as possible to prevent excess loss of glycogen pre-slaughter.
For more information on Meat Standards Australia, please visit www.mla.com.au/msa
Reference: MSA 2010-11 Annual Report
For more information please contact:
Epsom, Cnr Midland Hwy & Taylor St, Epsom 3551
Phone: 03 5430 4374
The inaugural Gippsland Beef School will be run at Lardner Park on Friday 11th May this year.
The agenda for the one day event includes stock assessment, herd genetics, pasture growth and utilisation, supplying MSA, herd health and a rumen dissection. The beef school will feature interactive presentations using live animals and concurrent sessions allowing participants to choose topics most relevant to their business.
An industry dinner will be held on the Thursday evening, with local producers speaking on how they use different marketing tools to get more from their business
The Gippsland Beef School is a BetterBeef Network event supported by the MLA More Beef from Pastures Program.
|When:||Friday 11th May & the evening of Thursday 10th May|
|Thursday Industry Dinner: 6:45 for 7pm start
Friday Gippsland Beef School: Registrations open 8.00am. Conference 8.30 to 4.00pm
|Cost:||Industry dinner: $50 per person
Conference: $60 per person, includes lunch and proceedings
|RSVP:||Prior to April 30th to Fiona Baker|
For more information, please contact Fiona Baker on 03 5624 2234 or email Fiona.Baker@dpi.vic.gov.au
A field day for beef producers interested in improving their genetic gain through improved animal selection and hybrid vigour is being held at Mt William Charolais on the 10th May.
Bob Dent, renowned beef industry consultant and Maria Crawford from the DPI will be presenters at the field day along with other beef industry experts.
Topics to be covered on the day include
- Understanding and utilising EBV's - Understanding the theory & practical application
- Bull selection for target markets
- Opportunities from cross breeding - utilising hybrid vigour for improved profits & how to do it.
|When:||Thursday 10th May|
|Where:||Mt William Station, Willaura|
|1pm to 6pm including BBQ dinner|
Prior to April 30th to Maria Crawford
For more information, please contact Maria Crawford on 0355 730 749 or email Maria.Crawford@dpi.vic.gov.au
An information day for beef producers is being held at Strathdownie on the 11th May.
The agenda for the day includes efficient heifer management to improve the profitability and fertility of a beef herd, a practical session on yard design and cattle handling along with recent research outcomes from the Beef CRC on increased muscling reducing dark cutting and its impact on meat quality. Maria Crawford from DPI and other industry experts will present on the day.
|When:||Friday 11th May|
|Where:||Strathdownie Hall and local property|
|9am to 1.30pm including lunch|
Prior to April 30th to Maria Crawford
For more information, please contact Maria Crawford on 0355 730 749 or email Maria.Crawford@dpi.vic.gov.au
All beef producers are invited to a beef management seminar being hosted by the South West Angus Breeders Association on Friday 27th April.
The seminar includes guest presenters Wayne Pitchford from Adelaide University speaking on the Beef CRC Maternal Productivity project and Dr Rod Manning, north east beef producer and consultant speaking on managing a highly profitable beef herd.
|When:||Friday 27th May|
|Where:||The Archie Graham Community Centre, 118 - 130 Timor Street, Warrnambool|
|9.30am to 4:00pm|
|Cost:||$10 which covers lunch|
Prior to April 30th to Marg Gilmour
For more information, please contact Marg Gilmour on 0427 809 037
This annual field day, titled “Where to for the Beef Industry?”, always proves very popular with leading speakers covering relevant topics.
The date for this year’s workshop is Wednesday 16th May 2012.
The 2012 program includes an update on animal health management, the Angus/Charolais crossbreeding program, pasture technology and local and international beef market trends. The afternoon industry panel will again answer questions and debate topics identified by the audience.
|When:||Friday 16th May|
Welcome Swallow Angus, 83 Martins Road Benalla
|10.00am to 4:00pm|
to the Mackinnon Project on 03 9731 2225
For more information please contact Susie Martin on 0418 577 627 or the MacKinnon Project on 03 9731 2225
A Victorian producer demonstration site has examined strategic worm control amongst southern beef producers.
The Mackinnon Project Beef Group trial underscores how understanding the drench resistance makes a difference in managing high production systems.
The study highlighted the importance of taking a strategic whole-of-farm approach to worm control and treatment, with an estimate that good worm control could reduce the cost of production by $0.05/kg liveweight on relevant properties.
For more information click here: Meal and Livestock Australia Industry News
Meat and Livestock Australi (MLA) Market Information provides the latest prices, reporting, forecasts and analysisfor Australian and international red meat markets. MLA members receive free or discounted market reports.
For more information click here: MLA Market Information
The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database is administered by NLIS Ltd, a subsidiary of MLA.
To record livestock movements and other transactions on the database, you must have a database account, or authorise someone else to record transactions on your behalf. Even if you do this, you should have an account so you can check that the database information for your property is correct.
Once you have created an account you will be issued with an NLIS user ID and password and a NLIS user guide will be posted to you.
For more information click here:Creating a NLIS account
Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) is a debilitating disease that can have severe economic effects if it is left uncontrolled and allowed to build up in herds or areas. Infected animals often do not show signs until late in life and can be spreading the bacteria in their faeces. Fortunately most of Australia beef industry has little or no BJD.
For more information about the distribution and management of BJD in Australia click here: The Australian approach to Johne’s Disease in cattle presentation.
Beef and Sheep News:
DPI Media release: 13 March 12
Aerial surveys have confirmed most farmers are getting feed to isolated livestock.
Staff from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have conducted aerial surveys of flood affected properties in northern Victoria to pinpoint stranded livestock.
DPI Flood Response Manager, John Balfour, said aircraft were a fast and accurate way to locate isolated livestock and determine whether they have got feed.
Pasture field days will return to the north central region for the first time in many years with an event at Boort on April 3. The event will feature a lot of new developments and trials that will proved valuable information to producers and agribusinesses.
The Birchip Cropping Group and Loddon Shire Council will be partners for this free event which will be held from 9.30am- 3.15pm.
|When:||Tuesday April 3rd|
Boort Memorial Hall
|9.30am to 3.15pm|
Prior to March 27th to Erica Schelfhorst.
For more information, please contact Erica Schelfhorst on 03 5430 4560 or email Erica.Schelfhorst@dpi.vic.gov.au
|When:||Thursday March 29th 2012|
Back due to popular demand, Agrifest is an informative and enjoyable day out for locals wanting to hear the latest in agricultural research and technology. Project Platypus is bringing together the best innovative thinkers and presenters, showcasing the latest in sustainable farming technology, all on a working sustainable farm.
For more information and to register click here: www.platypus.org.au
In January, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences released a detailed report on foreign investment in Australia in a bid to quash concerns that we’re selling off our prized country. While its arguments were pretty convincing, not everyone is confident that the current regulatory framework surrounding foreign investment in agriculture protects the national interest.
For more information please click here: Kondiningroup Media Release
Genomic information has the potential to change the way Australian beef cattle and sheep are selected. Both industries have made considerable progress in developing the resources required to underpin this genomic selection, including large populations of animals with DNA genotypes matched to performance for many economically important traits. Information from these populations is now being used to increase the accuracy of selecting animals in industry herds and flocks, with the potential of substantially increasing genetic gains.
For more information click here: CSIRO PUBLISHING - Animal Production Science
For producer information on what is available click here: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Pet Smart Roadshow:
Tuesday17th April 2012
For more information and to register click here: PestSmart Roadshow « Feral.org.au