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Silage systems for beef production and drought feeding for northern Australia

Rich, K. Mr; Ph: (07) 5445 5201; Mobile: 0418 715 933; Fax: (07) 5445 2787;

Research organisation: Agresult, PO Box 165, Buderim, Qld 4556

Sponsors: MRC, Meat Research Corporation; Pioneer Hi-Bred Australia


1. To develop silage production/feeding systems for beef production to achieve annual weight increases of 300kg;

2. To develop silage production/feeding systems for drought;

3. To produce a silage feeding manual for beef production and drought management by September 1994;

4. To have demonstrated silage production and feeding systems on six properties by January 1995;

5. To have 100 beef producers effectively using silage as a feed option.

Methodology: The project aims to establish silage production and feeding as an integral part of the feeding strategy on beef cattle properties where soil types permit production of annual crops. The development of a producer group culture, based around the demonstration sites, should allow the silage systems that are developed through their input, to:

1. reflect the needs of the producer group;

2. be technically sound ie. produce excellent quality cattle feed.


1. Silage is a useful tool to improve property efficiency. Increases kg beef/ha

2. Economical use to rear weaners until paddock feed is suitable or increase energy density with grain and sell cattle to local trade.

3. Analyse the cost of the delivery system on a per kg of beef. Potential to overcapitalise can make system unprofitable if less than 500 cattle are fed per annum.

4. Choose crops or pastures that will give the highest yield of nutrieints per hectare of cropping land. Integrate manure disposal with cropping if cattle are fed in one place where manure can accumulate into commercial volumes.

Period: starting date 1994-03; completion date 1996-06

Status: completed

Publications: Silage feeding manual produced, as planned.


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