Report Synopsis

Extensive Tropical and Sub-Tropical Beef Cattle Operations. Production issues relating to historical land use, its effect on ongoing viability and related development opportunities

Adam Coffey

The purpose of this report is to discuss production issues relating to historical land use and the development potential of extensive tropical and sub-tropical cattle producing regions and the businesses within them. The information in this report has been compiled from experience as a manager, and a family business owner in these areas, and is an attempt to pull together knowledge gained over this time, coupled with recent experience and travel as a Nuffield Scholar. In considering development of these predominately native environments, the industry needs to study production issues that have arisen from historical grazing use and how best to tackle these problems. Issues such as woody encroachment and thickening, perennial pasture dieback and the increasing populations of undesirable species within pasture systems need to be addressed. Many of these issues relate to grazing methods and their effect on soil moisture and nutrient infiltration, associated availability and plant uptake. Differing burning regimes of native grass and rangeland are also discussed in this context.

Development can be in many different forms as discussed in the body of this report such as implementing change management through gaining a better understanding of the biological processes of land systems, or conventional intervention using mechanical and chemical methods in addition to integrating high production pasture species, fencing, water development and utilising advancements in technology.

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