The need for independent carbon ground truthing and advisory services was among the hot topics debated as key research needs for the northern beef industry at the North Australia Beef Research Council (NABRC) meeting in Brisbane this week.
The three-day event brought together the producer chairs of 11 regional committees from across northern Australia with researchers and industry leaders to discuss issues affecting the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australia’s northern grass-fed beef industry.
NABRC Chairman Dr John Taylor said the council’s determination of priority issues would inform Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) next call for research, development and extension projects.
“The grassroots input that our regional committees provide has a direct impact on where the industry’s livestock levies are invested,” he said.
“In the past NABRC’s influence and collaboration efforts have resulted in game-changing research programs for the beef industry, including the recent Northern Breeding Business (NB2) project, pasture dieback research, phosphorous for cattle fertility, and the famous CashCow project.”
Dr Taylor said NABRC’s new list of priorities would also be used to inform the research investments of other stakeholders in the beef industry, such as state government departments and universities.
“As an independent association, NABRC breaks down barriers between research scientists and grassroots producers to focus research, development and adoption on technologies and practices that can make a practical difference to producers’ lives,” he said.
“The issues identified this week are of critical importance to the northern beef industry’s prosperity, with producers expressing a desire for technology and tools that enabled an integrated, systems approach to sustainable grazing land management.”
The conference heard that extension efforts were needed in facilitating improvement to grazing management practices in order to enhance the feedbase available to northern herds, and in ensuring genetic programs catered for multi-breed herds.
Conference participants also discussed a suite of initiatives to encourage more producers to have their say about the direction of research investments in the beef industry, including the use of digital tools to connect more producers with NABRC.
“By engaging with NABRC, producers can draw attention to issues their region faces and help set the research priorities for agencies like Meat & Livestock Australia, as well as influence the direction of research providers such as CSIRO, universities and state agriculture departments,” Dr Taylor said.
“By connecting producers, researchers and industry stakeholders we can drive improved productivity, profitability and sustainability in the northern grassfed beef industry.”
For more information, please contact Megan Hendry on 0411 564 906.