BRAHMAN NEWS SEPTEMBER 2007 Issue #156
One of Australia’s largest and most comprehensive on-property R&D projects hosted its final field day on 8 August.
The Pigeon Hole Project, a joint Meat & Livestock Australia and Heytesbury Beef initiative, will be wrapped up with an on-property field day. The Heytesbury Beef-owned Pigeon Hole Station is a 180,000 ha property located in the Victoria River district of the Northern Territory, about 300km south west of Katherine.
The five-year $6.4 million Pigeon Hole Project was set up to develop grazing and infrastructure guidelines with the goal of improving economic performance whilst maintaining the condition of the land and minimising any impacts on biodiversity.
The Pigeon Hole Project focussed on five key research areas:
MLA’s northern production research manager Dr Wayne Hall said the Pigeon Hole Project was a groundbreaking research project that would produce ongoing benefit for Australia’s cattle industry.
“The Pigeon Hole Project will provide a blueprint for northern Australian cattle production systems and has really broken new ground in a number of areas including cell grazing, telemetry, water medication and sustainable grazing,” Dr Hall said.
Some of the key outcomes of the project include:
Heytesbury Beef’s Pigeon Hole Project manager Dr Steve Petty said that the project had been successful because it was conducted on a commercial scale under commercial conditions and the outcomes could be easily transferred to other large-scale production systems.
“The Project has played an important part in helping solve some of the major challenges facing northern pastoralists today,” Dr Petty said.
“Outcomes such as the calculation of optimal forage utilisation and ideal paddock size are pretty easy to get your head around and can be utilized by anyone running an extensive operation.”
The Pigeon Hole Project is jointly run by Heytesbury Beef and MLA through MLA’s Partners in Innovation program. Heytesbury Beef and MLA (through Federal Government funds only – no producer levies were used) evenly split the $6.4 million in funding for the project.
Agencies supporting the project and undertaking research include the NT Department of Primary Industries Fisheries and Mines, the NT Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, CSIRO, The University of Queensland, Victoria River District Conservation Association and the CRC for Tropical Savannas.