Dr Ian Braithwaite and Jo Travers, of Sutherland Station.

Jessie Norman, Mt Aberdeen Station, left, and Olivia Gordon, Thurso Station, work with plasticine models of calf head size on a diagram showing body size to understand gestation period.

Improve herd efficiency

THE key to profitability is not necessarily how little or how much you spend on inputs, but getting greatest return from investments made.  Veterinarian Dr Ian Braithwaite is helping local graziers improve their herd performance.

Improving herd efficiency is the primary goal of a grazing enterprise, but to make real progress you have to analyse each phase of the operation to identify those areas where adjustments can make the greatest impact.

To do this, you have to establish some baseline data, summarise and evaluate the data on operational basis, and a per cow, and per acre basis, then set some benchmark targets for the operation to reach in the years ahead.

With clear target benchmarks to serve as a simplified report card, efficiency can be measured and evaluated annually.

Although this two-day workshop focussed on the practical skills of pregnancy testing and foetal ageing in cattle, Ian Braithwaite also focussed on how to increase livestock efficiency and performance, business profitability and landscape resilience.

Thank you to Paul Thorogood and Jo Travers, of Sutherland Station, for hosting this workshop.

It was part of an integrated program that the LDC Grazier Support Program is delivering throughout 2019. The program offers BBB catchment-wide preg-testing, conducted by recognised practitioners.

Any property within the BBB is encouraged to participate. The first 500 cows will be free of charge.

Conditions apply and participants will also be required to undertake a Herd Management Plan with an approved consultant of their choosing.

The LDC BBB Grazier Support program held a breeder management and preg testing school at Sutherland Station, thanks to owners Jo Travers and Paul Thorogood. The workshop was led by Dr Ian Braithwaite. Front (from left): Paul Thorogood and son Cooper, Jo Travers, Jess Norman, Olivia Gordon, Alex Otto, Stephanie Tudehope, Charlie Woodhouse, Shange Jameson, at back, Ellisa Davis, Adrienne Hall, Troy Russell, Brodie Gordon, Ian Braithwaite, Derek Young, Alistair Brown, Simon Le Blowit, and at the very back, George Gourley.