Scone 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 beef breeding enterprise are shown below:
- Compared to the period 1970-1999, in 2000-2009:
- Annual pasture production was down by 1%, though ground cover thresholds were unaffected
- Stocking rate was unchanged but beef production was reduced by 2%
- Profitability was down by 20%
- Looking forward to 2030, compared to the base period 1970 – 1999, the 4 different climate scenarios showed that:
- Pasture production will be reduced by 14%. This resulted in beef production reducing by 23%
- Lower beef production and higher feed costs, required to maintain breeder bodyweights, will combine to reduce profits by 69%
- The native perennial grass pastures utilized in this scenario proved resilient to increased grazing pressure and ground cover thresholds were not affected
The impact of adaptations
The following table shows the impact of various adaptations on the profitability of a beef enterprise at Scone.
- Cross breeding can be used on a portion of the herd to increase weights of sale stock
- Retaining the steer portion of a weaner operation and selling them as yearlings increases both the profitability and flexibility of a breeding operation.
- A combination of cross breeding and retaining the steer portion of the calves was more profitable than either of the individual options by themselves.
- All of these options require more feed available and since the models predict reduced feed supply, then the profitability of the operations was hampered by supplementary feeding requirements