Weaner to yearling production pays off

Funding: Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) Producer Demonstration Site

Duration: July 2018 – Dec 2020

Amount: $41,264

MFS GrassGro® modelling work has quantified the relative profitability ($/ha) of retaining steer weaners through a second spring, either on pasture or winter forage crop, compared to a baseline system of selling at weaning.

Of the three 1000ha systems modelled, the key outputs indicated a base weaner system selling into the weaner sales in April turns off a 261kg animal with a total enterprise GM of $166/ha. Compared to a pasture based yearling system and an oats based yearling system (winter forage) turning off average steer sale weights of 442kg and 474kg respectively resulting in total enterprise GM of $199/ha and $262/ha respectively. This equates to a 20% GM increase and a 58% GM increase above the traditional weaner production system.

The aim of this project is to demonstrate whether high quality forage crop and perennial pasture systems can be utilised to meet target weights for finishing steers on the Monaro and increase overall farm profit relative to the traditional base selling enterprise system.

Seven (7) producer demonstration sites will validate / ground truth the modelling projections demonstrating the relative profitability of the following (7) finishing pasture systems in beef enterprises;

(a) Improved grass pasture (phalaris and rye grass based) – 2 sites 
(b) Wheat (with pellet supplements) – 1 site 
(c) Oats / Cereals – 3 sites 
(d) Control / baseline (permanent pasture) – Grassgro® modelling – 1 site

Due to the dry seasonal conditions in 2018, only 2 sites have been initiated this year.  Results will be posted as they are published.