Implementing grazing best management practice through demonstrating how timely management decisions enhance pastures, groundcover, soils, land condition, business profitability and adaptability. Managing cattle production in the rangelands of northern Queensland is a challenging job.
E-Beef Smart Farming in Northern Queensland aims to support producers by showing how technology can support timely management decisions that enhance pastures, groundcover, soils, land condition, business profitability and adaptability.
E-Beef Smart Farming in Northern Queensland will establish on-ground, regionally relevant smart farms using innovative technology to enhance grazing management.
The project will include a comprehensive extension program to accelerate the uptake of whole-of-business grazing best management that when adopted will improve the natural resource base and profitability of beef enterprises. Extension professionals will partner with collaborators to maximize impact and ensure industry relevance.
Graziers will have the opportunity to see, touch and discuss the application of new and innovative technologies that will improve their grazing and land management, profitability and adaptability at demonstration E-Beef Smart Farms and E-Beef innovation hubs.
E-Beef Smart Farming in Northern Queensland commenced in August 2018.
E-BEEF SMART FARMS
At the core of the project is the establishment of E-Beef Smart Farms in each of the three northern Queensland NRM regions – Southern Gulf, Northern Gulf and Desert Channels. The E-Beef Smart Farms will be a focus for demonstration and extension activities.
E-Beef Smart Farms will demonstrate that groundcover, land condition, animal performance and marketing are intrinsically linked, and that business resilience is strengthened through integrated management of both natural resources and animal production.
Two properties per region will be selected to become E-Beef Smart Farms. The project will fund installation of Tru-Test Remote walk over weighing (WOW) technology adjacent to a water point in a commercial paddock to regularly record cattle weights. Liveweight and satellite ground cover data will be reported weekly to allow graziers to better understand the relationship between cattle weights and pasture levels.
Results will be shared as part of the project’s extension program.
Business analysis using the AgriHive FarmEcco system will be a component of the Smart Farms’ activities. Graziers interested in joining Smart Farms Innovation Hubs will also participate in the business analysis and have weekly access to liveweight and cover data. Members of the Innovation Hubs will be linked “virtually” by the provision of data and through FarmEcco. A few grazing businesses will have the opportunity to trial other technologies applicable to the industry. E-Beef Smart Farms will be selected through an open expression of interest process in the months prior to Christmas 2018. One Smart Farm per region will be established in early 2019 and a second will commence from July 2019.
Project Partners: E-Beef Smart Farming in Northern Queensland will be delivered by a partnership between the three regional NRM organisations: Southern Gulf NRM, Desert Channels Queensland and Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Other partners will be invited to contribute as the project progresses.
Project Funding: Project partners acknowledge with thanks the funding provided under the Australian Government’s Smart Farming Partnerships Program. Co-funding is provided by the Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaption Program (DCAP) that aims to improve drought preparedness and resilience for Queensland producers.