Livestock industries - project listing

The Northern Territory (NT) Government’s livestock industries team delivers a range of projects alongside key partners. Delivered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) projects are organised into nine themes.


Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
The 'Sweet Spot'
Improving breeder herd performance through optimal pasture utilisation. A multi-agency desktop project quantifying the effect of pasture utilisation rates on reproductive performance of beef cattle.
Northern Australia Robyn Cowley 2018-22 QDAF, QDES, Karingal Systems, MLA FutureBeef website
Paddock Power
Unlocking the secrets to sustainable and profitable intensification. Measuring the impact of large under-watered paddocks on reproductive performance, providing recommendations for sustainable paddock development and creating a mapping tool and investment calculator for producers to make confident investment decisions.
Rocklands and Brunette Downs Stations Dionne Walsh 2018-23 CQU, Holmes and Co. MLA, Paraway, AACo FutureBeef website
Inside Edge
Improve modelling of grazing systems. Provide producers with information to prepare for and manage the impacts of drought, improve the northern Australian grazing simulation module GRASP and link to BoM’s new generation seasonal forecasting system ACCESS-S and DNRM’s new land assessment tool (LCAT) as grazing decision support tools.
- Robyn Cowley 2017-21 QDES, QDAF, QLD Government -
Northern Australia Climate Program A project to help the grazing industry better manage drought and climate risks through a range of research, development and extension activities. NT DITT has a small role in supporting the project activities in the NT. - Dionne Walsh and Robyn Cowley 2018-21
USQ, QDAF, WA DPIRD, MLA Donor Company
Northern Australia Climate Program website
NT carrying capacity
Ongoing research and development to refine the scientific derivation of sustainable carrying capacity estimates for different land types. - Robyn Cowley - - -
Pasture sustainability Monitoring the long-term sustainability of the carrying capacity estimates for Kidman Springs. Augmented by forage budgeting with the manager. - Caz Pettit - - -
Shruburn Long-term experiment assessing the best timing and frequency of prescribed burning to control woody vegetation thickening whilst maintaining optimal pasture condition at Kidman Springs. - Robyn Cowley - - FutureBeef website
Rotation grazing and prescribed burning program Demonstration of how to successfully integrate a rotational grazing and burning program at property scale on Kidman Springs. - Caz Pettit - - -
Quality Graze Demonstration of how sustainable stocking rates can improve land condition, animal performance and profitability in arid areas. Central Australia Chris Materne - - -
Improved feed Improving pastures with and without the use of irrigation. Conducted jointly with Plant Industries on AZRI and some commercial stations. Central Australia Chris Materne - - -
Managing gamba grass with rotational grazing Douglas Daly Research Farm investigating how to best use grazing to reduce the spread of gamba grass whilst achieving good animal production outcomes. - Tim Schatz - - -
Carrying capacity advisory service Provide carrying capacity assessments and property development advice on request. - Caz Pettit, Dionne Walsh, Chris Materne and Robyn Cowley - - -

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Reducing calf loss from exposure Investigating the effectiveness of providing shade in treeless rangelands of the Barkly to reduce calf mortality. Pilot GPS tracking completed during 2019. First weaning to be completed during 2020. Bigger study to be completed during 2020/21. Barkly Kieren McCosker 2018-23 CSIRO, University of Florida CQU, UQ, University of Sydney FutureBeef website
CalfWatch Investigating the causes of foetal and calf loss in extensive pastoral systems. Developing a system to remotely monitor calving using birth sensors and GPS tracking collars. Northern Australia Tim Schatz 2018-21 MLA, Smart Paddock and University of Florida FutureBeef website
Repronomics 2 Delivering effective genomic selection for northern Australian cattle. Increase the accuracy of fertility EBVs to improve the rate of progress through genetic selection for brahman and tropical composite cattle. (Subcontracted to AGBU). Northern Australia Tim Schatz 2020-24 UNE, AGBU, QDAF, MLA FutureBeef website
uSuckle Developing a methodology to detect maternal behaviours using sensors attached to the heifer / cow, targeting a cow being suckled to see if suckling duration and frequency are predictors of pre-weaning average daily gain. - Kieren McCosker 2020-24 CSIRO, UQ, NB2 -
Selection for fertility in a brahman herd Long-term demonstration of how strong selection for fertile brahman genetics can improve herd performance. - Gretel Bailey-Preston - - -
Comparison of multibreed composite and brahman breeder productivity Comparing the performance of purebred brahman cattle to composite breeds to achieve good production outcomes and reduce market risk. - Gretel Bailey-Preston - - -
Improving breeder herd efficiency in arid areas Demonstration of how to use performance recording and objective selection data and practices to increase adaptation to arid conditions. Central Australian Jocelyn Coventry - - -

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Easy PInvestigating whether an easy-to-implement P supplementation strategy (Easy P) is effective at providing a significant proportion of the benefits of traditional wet season P supplementation. If so, increase adoption of P supplementation on properties that don’t currently supplement in the wet season due to difficulty accessing paddocks.
Project is in final stages of MLA approval.
-Tim Schatz2020-25QDAF, WA DPIRD, NB2-
Water medication producer demonstration siteDemonstrating the practical application of water medication systems as a low-cost and effective method of delivering limiting nutrients under extensive conditions all year round.
Project is being contracted.
-Eleanor Fordyce2020-23NB2, DTS-

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Pain reliefInvestigating the welfare impact and production benefits from providing alternative methods of pain relief at the time of dehorning / castration.-Melissa Wooderson2019-23QDAF, MLA 
Insecticidal ear tagsOngoing short-term studies at Beatrice Hill Farm and Douglas Daly Research Farm investigating he effectiveness and benefit of options to reduce the impact of biting insects on livestock.-Tim Schatz---

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Buffalo crossbreeding / tenderbuffLong-term ongoing project at Beatrice Hill Farm to improve the genetics of buffalo and ensure best practice transport and stunning practices and live export market development.-----

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Indigenous Pastoral ProgramAssisting Aboriginal landholders in all aspects of property development, land management and herd management related to livestock industry opportunities.-Steve Robertson and Chaz De La Coeur---

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Palm CowImproving profitability and productivity by integrating cattle farming with established palm plantations in Indonesia. Subcontracted to UNE.-Kieren McCosker2018-21UNE, ACIARIndoBeef website
Profitable feeding strategies for smallhold cattleTo develop cost-effective feeding rations that are practical and can be applied within smallholder village systems in Indonesia. Subcontracted to UQ, the local NT research component aims to develop growth-response curves for cassava intake using two alternative protein sources.-Kieren McCosker2018-21UQ, ACIARAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research website

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Abattoir grid and MSA specificationsInvestigating and evaluating practical management options for improving the consistency of high premium abattoir grid and MSA compliance specifications for profitable steer turnoff.Central AustraliaChris Materne---

Project nameDescriptionRegion Project leader Project timeframeCollaborators More information
Central Australia Self Herding (CASH) producer demonstration siteOn-property demonstration of the applications of Rangelands self herding techniques in Central Australia.Central AustraliaMeg Humphrys2020-25Stress Free Stockmanship (Bruce Maynard), MLA, several Alice Springs producersFutureBeef website
FutureBeefCoordinated delivery of extension and adoption programs and information, including the website as a 'one-stop shop' for information.Northern AustraliaDionne Walsh, Elle Fordyce and Meg Humphrys2019-21QDAF, WA DPIRD, MLAFutureBeef website
Northern Breeding Business (NB2) Pathways to PracticeThis collaborative project aims to create a producer led, peer-to-peer, research, development and adoption model that will result in measurable practice change to improve breeder herd efficiency and reduce calf wastage.Northern AustraliaDionne Walsh2020-24QDAF, WA DPIRD, NB2Meat and Livestock Australia website
Producer demonstration sitesSmall on-property demonstrations to increase local uptake of proven technologies / practices-Eleanor Fordyce and Meg Humphrys---
EDGE Network (Meat and Livestock Australia) training coursesProvide MLA-accredited training on topics including grazing land management, grazing fundamentals, breeding, nutrition and business.-Dionne Walsh---
Barkly Herd Management ForumBiennial workshops targeted to head stockmen, assistant managers and managers to present the latest information on managing a pastoral business.BarklyJane Douglas---
Rangeland management coursesIntroduction to grazing management, weed ID, animal welfare and biosecurity for first-year stock camp staff.Katherine and BarklyJane Douglas, Elle Fordyce and Meg Humphrys---
Field days and other public eventsAd-hoc events to engage with industry.-All staff---

Project nameDescription Project leader More information
Rangelands self herding: Victoria River Research Station Demonstration of a behaviour-based approach to modifying grazing patterns to achieve more even pasture utilisation without the need for more fencing. Dionne Walsh FutureBeef website
Stocking rate and pasture spelling demonstration: Alexandria Station Demonstration of the impact of stocking rate management and wet season spelling on land condition trends around bores of different ages. Jane Douglas  
Intensive rotational grazing: Beetaloo / Mungabroom Stations A project to evaluate the land condition, livestock and economic performance of an intensive rotational grazing system implemented in the Peabush area of Mungabroom Station. Jane Douglas and Dionne Walsh  
Senepol Crossbreeding Demonstration of how cross-breeding with tropically-adapted Bos taurus breeds can achieve good production outcomes and reduce market risk. Fieldwork for this project has been completed and a final report is underway. Tim Schatz  
Meating the grid with culled cows A project to evaluate different options for improving the economic value of culled cows. Reporting almost completed. Kieren McCosker  
Prevalence of bitten young cattle in the Northern Territory A project to establish a practical system of recording the incidence of wild-dog damage on calves within breeding herds of the NT. Describing the impact and estimating the economic impact of wild dogs on cattle production in the NT.
Manuscript to be submitted during 2020/21.
Kieren McCosker  
Controlling feathertop wiregrass An experiment at Newcastle Waters Station found that using fire to control feathertop is not a 'sure bet'. Project looked at NT producers carefully weighing up the risks and rewards. Dionne Walsh NBRUC Conference proceedings (page 117)

Last updated: 16 June 2021

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