Central west beef producers were given a front row seat into the Girl Power project last week, which reaffirmed nutrition was key to rebuilding the herd with replacement breeders.
Getting young female cattle to joining weights of 350 kilograms in the northern rangelands is one of the outcomes participants in the Girl Power Project are working towards.
Hosted by Reid and Julie Bauman, attendees last Tuesday were able to see the heifers involved in the Girl Power project, a producer demonstration project through MLA program.
The Baumans are tracking their age-grouped heifers from weaning to having their second calf, monitoring their weights, fertility and health aspects, to ascertain optimum management of their replacement females.
Central Highlands GPP project officer Ed Wood said the project enabled participants to partake in discussions in astute forage budgeting and grazing management.
"Attendees were given an opportunity to better understand the benefits of focussing on the nutritional requirements of these heifers, so they can reach critical mating weights and then re-conceive with that first calf at foot," Mr Wood said.
"This year, we've had some pretty good results given a good season in the Desert Uplands.
"Though, some of our participants in the project didn't have a good season at all, and actually someone had a very tough season, and their results probably reflected that."
With the project now in it's second year, Mr Wood said results so far have reaffirmed that nutrition is so important in rebuilding producers herds.
"Our challenge now will be when the season is not so good, whats the cost of our nutritional supplements, or we need to do to get our animals up to where they need to be," he said.
MLA and Girl Power Project consultant Geoff Niethe said heifer management was absolutely critical for a lifetime of success in any beef herd.
"Young breeder cow performance is challenging all over Australia, and they're a significant proportion of the breeder herd," Mr Niethe said.
MLA's grass fed beef project manager Tony Parker said their was growing interest in the MLA producer demonstration site program.
"Looking after your land and managing your cattle grazing, is key to profitable businesses; and to growing up your replacement breeders," Mr Parker said.
QDAF Longreach extension officer Jane Tincknell led discussions on weaning across the seasons.
As attendees considered what changes could improve their enterprise, Jane's advice was, "Pick one thing; and do it well".
On hand to talk about feed intake and forage budgeting science was Darwin's Range IQ consultant Dionne Walsh, who emphasised the need to manage heifers and their nutrition, from weaning forward.
Producers were able to see just how much grass a pregnant young heifer needs to eat every day - a wheelie bin full - 13 kg.
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