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Producer Tour Looks Outside the Beef Box

03 June 2010

AUSTRALIA - Southern beef farmers converged on the Bunbury region this week to visit some enterprising beef businesses as part of a tour facilitated by the Department of Agriculture and Food.

Department beef development officer Julianne Hill said the recent South West Beef Tour was conceived by the Mt Barker Beef Profit Partnership (BPP) group to broaden their knowledge of the beef industry.

“The Mt Barker beef producers are focused on improving their pasture management which in turn will improve their stocking rate, production and profitability,” Ms Hill said.

“With a prominent kikuyu based pasture system, the producers were very keen to visit Brunswick Junction dairy farmer Mike MacLaughlin who is well known for his pasture management and in particular his wealth of knowledge of kikuyu.”

The group of about 30 producers also toured the Harvey Beef abattoir, juice and milk processor Harvey Fresh and looked over lucerne production at Tom Rose’s Myalup property.

Lunch was held at Old Coast Road Brewery where the farmers caught up with the brewer, Andrew Harris about the brewing process and use of local malt.

Leon Giglia spoke about the FarmWest business. The group also heard from the department’s dairy team leader John Lucey about the Greener Pastures project and maximising opportunities within the pasture system.

Vasse farmer Ken Macleay, of Black Rock Angus, spoke about the fertiliser management program he has been involved with through the department, which has resulted in a marked reduction in fertiliser inputs.

The group also heard from department research officer Kirsty Thomson about the uptake of Meat Standards Australia and from Mike Introvigne, chair of the recently formed Producers’ Round Table.

The Mt Barker BPP members returned home via Manjimup, catching up with farm consultant Paul Omodei and Evergreen producers to visit kikuyu sites and learn more about pasture management.

“It was a very enlightening trip,” Mt Barker farmer and BPP member Charlie Hick said.

“The better educated we are about the whole system the better we can do our jobs as beef producers.”

TheCattleSite News Desk


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