A survey of the meat goat industry in Queensland and New South Wales


Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Interesting read on the benefits of harvesting goats on range lands - and the importance to those doing so.

What is the problem?

As almost 90% of the goat herd in Australia is derived from range land goats, improvements in the productivity and management of range land enterprises could have an important effect on the profitability of these enterprises.
This study aimed to survey farmers’ knowledge and practices on the management of pastures, stocking rates and markets of meat goat-producing enterprises within New South Wales and Queensland, Australia.

What did the research involve?

An interview-based questionnaire was developed to survey meat goat properties located in Qld and NSW during 2013.

Fifty-three percent of producers were located over 600 km from a processing plant and the high cost of freight can limit the continuity of goats supplied to abattoirs.

What did the research involve?
• 31 landholders
• total land area of 567 177 ha
• reported total of 160 010 goats.
• 55%  of producers were involved in both ‘opportunistic harvesting’ and commercial goat operations
• 45% were specialised seedstock producers.

What were the key findings?

Producers in the pastoral regions appear to have a low investment in pasture development and opportunistic goat harvesting appears to be an important source of income.
• Goats were the most important livestock enterprise on 55% of surveyed properties
• 81% (25/31) of producers reported that the purpose of running goats on their properties was to target international markets.
• Important to target  markets as a way to increase profitability.
• 48% producers rely on opportunistic harvesting
• Stocking rate varied considerably within pastoral regions and high-rainfall regions, and was found to be negatively associated with property size and positively associated with rainfall.

Final comment

Range land goats in pastoral region are an important source of income.
The reasons for use of fencing appeared to be an important issue for goat farmers, and this could potentially add to capital costs associated with better goat management and production.

Improved pasture management, strategic management of stocking rates and nutrition to meet market specifications and regional location of processing plants within 600 km of major areas of production could improve the utilization and production of range land goats in NSW and Qld.

2015 - Australia - CSIRO
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