Benefits of mixed grazing with goats

Agripath Pty Ltd - Meat & Livestock Australia

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

One of the main issues confronting the Australian goat industry is maintaining an adequate supply of appropriate quality goat meat. Therefore to help overcome this challenge, a greater emphasis on managed production and less opportunistic harvest is required.

What is the problem?

Agripath Pty Ltd was engaged by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to undertake a business and economic analysis of a range of meat goat production systems with the aim to develop a “management package” for the successful integration of goats into sheep and/or cattle enterprises in both pastoral/rangeland zones and high rainfall/farmland areas in Australia.

What did the research involve?

This project aimed to facilitate a more managed approach to goat production and a decreased focus on opportunistic goat harvesting in order to increase production as well as the continuity of supply and quality of goat meat.

An economic analysis report was developed to analyse the impact of the integration of goats into six existing sheep and cattle producing businesses in both the pastoral and high rainfall zones in eastern and south eastern Australia

Case study participants were identified and On-farm visits were conducted with each of the selected businesses.

Financial data collected during the on-farm visits was used to construct a financial analysis of the business in order to assess the financial impact of goat integration

What were the key findings?

An annual goat management template was developed to assist livestock producers in strategically integrating goat production activities within their existing operations in both pastoral/rangeland as well as high rainfall/farmland areas.
The templates have been designed to alert producers to key decision points in the management year and to focus on the performance indicators that need to be met in order to achieve high performance.

Nine factsheet resources have been developed for the goat industry

The introduction of goats in five of the six businesses analysed was found to have provided increased economic benefit to the landholder

The analysis undertaken demonstrates that the integration of goats into existing livestock production systems across a range of production environments is competitive with the economic return from alternative livestock production systems available

Final Comment

The objectives of this project are to assist the goat industry to:

  • Build sustainable supply from the rangelands, with goats being recognised and managed as a resource – not as either an opportunistic harvest or a pest animal to be controlled.
  • Increase high-value goat production from agricultural areas – with goats being integrated into current mixed farming systems.
  • Manage supply chains for increased reliability so markets may be developed with confidence and opportunities to grow the industry realised.
  • Build the number and capacity of Australian goat producers.
2016 - Australia - Agripath Pty Ltd - Meat & Livestock Australia
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