Australian Rangeland Society

SPYING ON COWS FROM SPACE

In a recent article in RMN 18/3 Dionne Walsh outlined the cattle Self-Herding Project currently being carried out at Kidman Springs in the Northern Territory.   In this study, researchers are testing whether it is possible to create new cattle grazing patterns within a paddock and therefore whether it is possible to create a form of rotational grazing that does not rely on permanent fencing.   The Futurebeef website has recently published an interesting update to this story – one that confirms the well-known observation that grazing habits of cattle differ between night and day.  Using GPS collar ‘pings’ over several months, researchers have constructed animations of grazing behaviour which clearly shows differences.  Read the article and check out the patterns yourself.

DO YOUR SHEEP SMELL GOOD TO BLOWFLIES?

In the future it may be possible for sheep producers to breed animals for fly-resistance based on wool odour.  A recent Australian study has identified compounds in Merino sheep wool that are attractive to Australian blowflies – a discovery which could help breeders develop fly-resistant flocks of sheep.   Sheep Central has more details.

NEW PADDOCK POWER PROJECT BEGINS IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

The Paddock Power Project has recently commenced in the Northern Territory.  This study builds on previous research which has shown that developing more water points is a sound investment for achieving better pasture utilisation and increasing carrying capacity.  In contrast, this new study will be looking at the extent to which infrastructure development can lead to improvements in breeder herd performance and/or live weight gain. The study will focus on three questions:

  1. How much impact does paddock area and distance-to-water have on production?
  2. Where should we put new infrastructure to get best bang for buck?
  3. What infrastructure development option will deliver the best return on investment for my situation?

Further details about the project are available in the July issue of the Barkly Beef newsletter.

LATEST ISSUE OF WA RANGELANDS MEMO RELEASED

In the latest issue of the Rangelands Memo, published by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, there are a number of articles which may interest readers including:

  • David Pollock, the manager of Wooleen Station in the Murchison, sharing his experience with regenerating the landscape after historical overgrazing and degradation (p 17)
  • Caitlin Mills, co-manager of Mandora Station in the West Kimberley, discussing how she and her husband have coped with two extremes of Mother Nature – fire and flood – in their first two years on the property (p 26)
  • Matthew Fletcher and Andrew Craig looking at a commonly found but little discussed native grass, white grass (Sehima nervosum) (p 23)

View these stories and more in the May 2019 issue.

PODCASTS FOR AUSTRALIAN CATTLE PRODUCERS

Podcasts (downloadable audio episodes) are a convenient way to obtain information on topics that may interest you.  Beef Central has recently come up with a list of five podcasts that may interest Australian cattle producers.  Visit this Beef Central link for more information.