Event aims to beef up profitability

The West Australian
Beef producer and leading Cash Cow research team member Geoffry Fordyce.
Camera IconBeef producer and leading Cash Cow research team member Geoffry Fordyce. Credit: The West Australian

Beef producers will find out what impact the research project Cash Cow could have on their business at next week's WA Meat Profit Day at Port Denison.

Cash Cow, a Meat and Livestock Australia study, focuses on cattle reproductive performance. The project ran for four years and involved more than 78,000 cows.

Beef producer and leading Cash Cow research team member Geoffry Fordyce, who will be speaking at the WA Meat Profit Day, said the project was important for all beef producers.

He said its findings would not only challenge traditional thinking but could have a significant impact on producers' profitability.

"Cash Cow was focused on beef production in Australia's tropical zones but the fundamentals of it are applicable to beef enterprises everywhere," he said.

"One of the most important conceptual changes to come out of the study are the notions of performance and production, how we measure those and how we can manipulate performance to improve production - which is what we get paid for.

"It became apparent from the study that many producers, when assessing their businesses, weren't asking the right questions. We need to ask the right questions to find the right answers and I hope that producers attending the WA Meat Profit Day will go home with those skills."

Mr Fordyce also highlighted pasture as an important element of beef production.

"In fact, it's pasture that drives beef production, not cattle - and that's a real shift in thinking for many," he said.

"Pasture must be a part of every decision-making process and it doesn't feature highly enough. You can't make something out of nothing."

Body condition score, how to manage it, the pitfalls of failing to do so and how that impacts profitability will also be discussed.

"Cows in reasonable body condition raise calves and get pregnant again. Often cows are failing to do this because of poor body condition score as a result of costly mistakes," Mr Fordyce said.

"We'll be talking about management strategies to achieve better outcomes."

Mr Fordyce said Cash Cow also revealed producers had unrealistic expectations of the productivity of their cows, particularly in tougher environments. His talk aims to provide tools on how to assess this more accurately.

The WA Meat Profit Day will be held Thursday, April 3, at the Irwin Recreation Centre, 1 Ridley St, Port Denison. To register, phone 1800 675 717 or go to www.mla.com.au/mpd-wa .

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails