ENHANCING the red meat value chain through a greater understanding of efficient use of farm resources, better use of grazing mosaics, and the production of cattle that reach and exceed domestic and export ready standards is the aim of a new four-year partnership for the west.
The University of Western Australia and Meat & Livestock through the MLA Donor Company have joined forces to coordinate and drive an integrated research and practice change program for the West Australian beef Industry.
The partnership, BeefLinks, will provide better knowledge and a range of technologies to support the sustainability credentials of products and interconnectivity between producers, processors and consumers.
UWA Program Lead, Professor Philip Vercoe from UWA's Institute of Agriculture and School of Agriculture and Environment said the program aims to foster the prosperity of the red meat industry and achieve profitable, consistent and sustainable beef yields matched to consumer expectations.
"The partnership is exciting because it is based around a model of collaboration, engagement, discussion and genuine sharing of information amongst producers, the wider industry, State Government and researchers to make faster progress towards improving both productivity and the environmental footprint of the northern beef industry," Professor Vercoe said.
"A number of research projects are now underway that have been designed to help develop a higher valued supply chain that is more productive and sustainable for northern WA.
"There is a key focus on understanding more about the nutritional characteristics of the northern mosaic feedbase and how to transition animals more efficiently across different parts of the mosaic.
"Of particular interest is using the information to strengthen the existing north-south alliance and to establish practices that increase productivity and improve the consistency of growth paths in cattle that transition from north to south."
MLA Group Manager Productivity & Animal Wellbeing, David Beatty, said the new knowledge developed by the BeefLinks projects will be shared with producers and other supply chain operatives.
"The goal is to make sure producers and industry are an integral part of the BeefLinks partnership and to use the strategy to engage other collaborative partners," Dr Beatty said.
"Building participant engagement and coordination within the program and with each other ensures informed and empowered participants who can confidently communicate and adopt the program messages.
"In addition to this specific partnership, MLA is further supporting the program through in depth consumer and market insights analysis, linked to MSA insights and analysis, to identify possible new opportunities for higher value supply chain growth and investment."
Producers within the rangeland region of WA, producers who have the capacity to facilitate the backgrounding of cattle, and feedlots who are looking for new opportunities are invited to participate in the program.