One hundred beef producers from across north-east Victoria attended the 2017 BetterBeef Conference at Alexandra last week.
BetterBeef Project acting leader Bindi Hunter said this year’s conference was one of three beef conferences happening across the state, and brought together leading industry experts and producers to discuss ideas to grow a beef business and manage potential risks.
Presenters included Agriculture Victoria’s livestock extension officer Fiona Baker, from Gippsland, who gave an enlightening presentation about the difference that protein levels of pastures can make to cattle liveweight gain and the time it takes to reach sale weight.
‘‘Fiona’s key points were: know the protein levels of your pasture, know the leaf appearance rates of your pasture species and use the leaf appearance rates to determine grazing rotation length,’’ Ms Hunter said.
Agriculture Victoria’s seasonal risk agronomist Dale Grey gave an entertaining presentation on the oceanic and atmospheric climate drivers that affect rainfall in the high rainfall, north-eastern part of Victoria — focusing on the current situation and model predictions.
Ms Hunter said beef industry statesman and Birkenwood Pty Ltd director Rod Polkinghorne challenged producers on how the industry must strive to seek quality and consistency to compete in the highly competitive market place, while Pat Kluver, from Livestock Biosecurity Network, focused on Johne’s disease, and provided an overview of how and why management of the disease has changed, and how farm biosecurity more broadly is important to producers.