DAF beef officers Paul Gangemi and Matt Brown demonstrate a weighing system at local seminars.
DAF beef officers Paul Gangemi and Matt Brown demonstrate a weighing system at local seminars. DAF

Farmers weigh up the benefits of new technology

GRAZIERS had the chance to weigh up new technologies and production systems at a workshop presented by the State Government in Rockhampton.

Last month, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Beef Extension teams in Central Queensland areas partnered to deliver a Technology Information workshop.

There were 24 graziers from a variety of operations collectively managing over 78,000 ha (with a herd size of over 19,500 head of cattle), along with representatives from private enterprises.

The workshop covered 'weighing' technology and different ways producers can incorporate the use of scales into their production systems to make better use of the features of systems they may already have in place.

DAF senior beef extension officer Matt Brown explained how important it was to know what data to collect and how to use when making management decisions.

"By knowing how animals are tracking throughout the growing season the producer will have a higher chance of receiving their premiums and making a positive economic return on investment" Mr Brown said.

"Producers can supply a number of different markets, with different requirements on age and weight of beasts so it was a good opportunity to learn about using carcase data reports to assess average daily gains of a herd, manage forage or pasture rotation efficiently and set accurate production targets.

"By measuring average daily gains, graziers are able to estimate critical mating weights for heifers and set expectations about pregnancy rates that season. Pregnancy test data and animal selection in correlation with those results is another useful measure.

"The software can also be used for carcase feedback reconciliation, ensuring producers are paid appropriately for the product delivered."

Industry representatives were on hand throughout the day to showcase their products and software, step producers through the features and answer any troubleshooting questions.

Feedback from producers showed that in many circumstances, herd data was either not yet being recorded, or was not being used in an effective manner so the workshop provided some very welcome information and tools.