Moss Vale – Beef Cattle Enterprise
Impacts on production and profitability
The impacts on pasture and livestock production and farm profitability, based on a “business as usual” model for a self-replacing beef cattle herd for feeder steer production at Moss Vale are shown below:
- Compared to the period 1970-1999, in 2000-2009:
- Annual pasture production was down by xxx%, requiring stocking rate to be reduced by xxx%% to maintain ground cover
- Profitability was down by xxx% as a result
- Looking forward to 2030, compared to the base period 1970 – 1999, the 4 different climate scenarios showed:
- Average results are hugely influenced by one climate scenario
- To maintain minimum ground cover, a decrease in stocking rate (DSE/ha) was needed (average 16%).
- The reduced stocking rates lowered profits by 17 % on average, with a large range of +10% to -53%.
The impact of adaptations
The following table shows the impact of various adaptations on the profitability of a beef cattle enterprise at Moss Vale
- The relatively low impact of predicted climate change at Moss Vale in 2030 meant that adaptations were less important than in many other NSW locations
- However, the key messages from the analysis are;
- Conservative stocking is a two-edge sword – apart from all-year-round surplus pasture with maximum ground cover, it leads to poor utilisation and lower clover production.
- Higher profits can be realised by budgeting to raise the fertility of soils and in so doing producing more pasture with better long term pasture utilisation, to generate more weight gain and profit. ‘Spend money to make money’
- It may be easier to target the more lucrative heavy feeder steer market for a similar market profit advantage
- Continued genetic improvement between now and 2030 is critical to offsetting any decreased stocking rate.