Australian Rangeland Society

Mitchell grass death in the rangelands

Dr David Phelps (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and recently retired ARS President) recently featured in a FutureBeef News article looking at the possible causes of recent Mitchell grass death in the northern rangelands.  Read more at https://futurebeef.com.au/mitchell-grass-death-with-dr-phelps/

La Niña and livestock movements

The Bureau of Meteorology recently announced a La Niña for the summer of 2021–22 which traditionally means wetter-than-average conditions and milder temperatures for many eastern and northern areas of Australia.  A recent MLA news article looked at the possible implications of this La Niña on sheep and cattle markets in terms of supply and demand using data collected during the previous 2010-12 La Niña.  Read more here

Report on livestock and climate change

PASTRES (Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience: Global Lessons from the Margins  a research programme funded by the European Research Council) recently published a report examining the impact of livestock on climate change.  The report, entitled Are livestock always bad for the planet?, identifies ten flaws in the way that livestock’s climate impacts have been assessed, and suggests how pastoralists could be better included in future debates about food and the climate. The report, including a number of briefing and information sheets, is available from https://pastres.org/livestock-report/

Wild dog control in Western Australian rangelands

A Regional Vermin Cell enclosing 55 pastoral leases within Western Australia’s Murchison region with a wild dog-proof vermin fence was recently completed thanks to Federal, State and Local Government funding.  It is believed that this wild dog control measure will help enable a return to sheep and goat production in the region over time.  Read the full article in Sheep Central here.

Additionally, the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development are testing a number of additional approaches to wild dog management to help protect livestock.   Ceres smart tag technology, novel odours to improve bait lure uptake, and the use of squawkers and howlers are all being trialled.  Read more in  Sheep Central

Transition to goats proves profitable

MLA recently published an interesting article showing how a decision to transition a former cattle property into a 100% goat operation is paying off for Queensland producers Greg and Katie Honor from ‘Glenmore’, near Surat.  After purchasing the property in 2017, the Honors recognised that the landscape was better suited to goats than cattle.  Transitioning to goats has allowed them to better manage drought tolerance and risk, and in turn they have created a profitable business to support their family.  The full article is available here.