The Sense in Supplementation PDS

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

Project Duration: February 2019 – September 2022

Amount: $27,282

PDS Aim: Can supplementation of lambs on finishing crop and pasture systems significantly increase live weight gains and overall net profits and how sensitive is this practice to grain and lamb price fluctuations?

We are seeking to better quantify the financial returns from addition of supplementary feed to finishing pasture systems, and the sensitivity of the system to both lamb and grain prices.

The economic benefits of using feeders, even on high quality finishing pastures, is the most striking message to date to come out of our lamb finishing PDS, and several producers are already setting up to be able to integrate additional supplementation into this enterprise.  It would be very beneficial to be able to deliver hard data around this practice giving producers field-based evidence to underpin astute decision making.

Many producers on the Monaro are grappling with this decision of “how much” and “for how long” to supplementary feed as grain price climbs from <$350/ton, to as high as $500/ton delivered.  Formulated pellet rations are often higher leaving producers questioning the economics of these decisions.

PDS Objectives: Demonstrate and analyse the economic benefit of supplementation in three (3) lamb finishing enterprises:

a. Lucerne

b.  Brassica crop

c.  Long term perennial pasture (grass based) (highest relevance to member base)