Technical information


Health - Immune Systems and Micro-Nutrients for Beef Cattle

by Alex Ashwood BRAHMAN NEWS SEPTEMBER 2016 ISSUE #192 PAGE 48

The importance of essential micro-nutrients (trace minerals and vitamins) on livestock productivity has been recognised for a considerable period. Recently, the importance of trace mineral nutrition on immune competence and the effectiveness of vaccination programs have received increased attention.


by Alex Ashwood BRAHMAN NEWS SEPTEMBER 2015 ISSUE #188 PAGE 28

It is well recognised that straight bred Brahmans are an extremely important part of the northern beef industry but there is also tremendous benefits of using Brahmans in well structured crossbreeding programs.

Searching for Brahman Genetics Online

by Paul Williams BRAHMAN NEWS JUNE 2015 ISSUE #187 PAGE 56

Today’s beef producer not only has the traditional methods available for sourcing new genetics of print media and word of mouth, but is also able to search through a vast depth of pedigree & performance information made available to them through the internet.

HEALTH - Passive Immunity and Colostrum

by Alex Ashwood BRAHMAN NEWS JUNE 2015 ISSUE #187 PAGE 36

Diseases of the newborn calf can cause unacceptable wastage and calf losses reducing weaning rates and farm profit.


by Alex Ashwood BRAHMAN NEWS DECEMBER 2014 ISSUE #185 PAGE 46

Production losses and stock deaths due to infection and disease reduce the financial returns of the beef enterprise. Additional financial losses includes veterinarian and pharmaceutical expenses and the extra costs associated with additional time and labour inputs.

Coccidiosis in Beef Cattle

by Alex Ashwood BRAHMAN NEWS JUNE 2014 ISSUE #183 PAGE 42

Scours in beef calves are caused by digestive disorders, viral and bacterial infections, worm infestations and parasites.

New risk factors identified in BRD project

by Dr Tim Mahony Editorial by John CONDON, BEEF CENTRAL - BRAHMAN NEWS MARCH 2014 ISSUE #182 PAGE 41

Identification of some new risk factors was one of the key outcomes from an important study into Bovine Respiratory Disease discussed during the feedlot industry' recent BeefWorks forum held on the Darling Downs.

Revised Minimum Scrotal Circumference Standard


The Australian Cattle Veterinarians (ACV) has recently released revised standards for minimum scrotal circumference to pass a Veterinary Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation (VBBSE).

Variation in Age & Weight of Puberty in Tropical Cattle

by Paul Williams BRAHMAN NEWS MARCH 2013 ISSUE #178 PAGE 36

A major research project within the Cooperative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies (Beef CRC) has provided a very useful insight into the variation that exists in the age and weight at which tropical cattle reach puberty in Northern Australia.

Tackling delayed puberty in Brahmans

Research shows genes associated with late-onset puberty in heifers are also the same as those associated with late-onset puberty in bulls. This means that selecting either bulls or heifers for earlier puberty will also reduce age at puberty in their half-sibs

Grinding beef price to US could hit 220c/lb

If recent history is anything to go by, Australian lean grinding beef into the US could hit prices as high as US215-220c/lb CIF by Christmas, a respected market analyst suggests.

Comment: 2050 vision needed for northern beef

Australia's more extensive northern beef industry is in a position to benefit and indeed prosper from current and emerging global trends in both the demand for food and food production systems.

MLA cattle industry projections 2012

Continued strong demand from an increasingly diverse range of global markets will combine with favourable seasons to drive an expansion in production and exports in 2012, according to Meat & Livestock Australia's 2012 cattle industry projections released today.

Big shifts in live export source, destination

The depth of the live export market impact from Indonesian import permit and liveweight restrictions and subsequent market closure is clearly evident in financial year shipment data released today by Livecorp and MLA.

Carbon tax could cost $19m/year for big three processors

The Federal Government's inclusion of red meat processing in direct carbon tax legislation threatens to create a distorted two-tiered structure which would unfairly discriminate against larger, more efficient processing facilities, investigations by Beef Central show.

Woolworths lays foundations for MSA procurement strategy

The nation's largest supermarket retailer, Woolworths is laying the foundations for a move into Meat Standards Australia grading across its national beef supply chain supplying 840 supermarket outlets.

How to reduce methane and increase profits

Under the Carbon Farming Initiative passed by the Senate, primary producers will have two options to earn carbon credits - by reducing greenhouse emissions or through bio-sequestration.

Big changes ahead in food safety arena

The food safety regulatory arena in the United States will continue to evolve, driven by a wide range of issues from new testing capability to public perceptions, a former senior US Department of Agriculture official told beef exporters yesterday.

Boosting breedplan

Since the Beef CRC began contributing data to BREEDPLAN in 1993, performance-recorded Australian cattle breeds have shown steadily rising rates of genetic gain.

Control of Vibriosis and Trichomoniasis

Vibriosis and trichomoniasis are prevalent venereal diseases of the extensive cattle herds of northern Australia and are characterised by causing low fertility in heifers.

Targeting growth rates for MSA

Central Queensland Brahman breeders, David and Rebecca Comiskey, Melton, Alpha have achieved excellent results selling through the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) system, despite being located 450km from the nearest meat processor.

Calm cattle produce better beef

Calmer cattle grow more quickly than more temperamental ones, and produce larger, better finished carcasses with more tender meat.

Over 99% of all Australian livestock exported in 2008 arrived fit and healthy

LiveCorp and Meat & Livestock Australia have released the 2008 national livestock export industry shipboard performance report, confirming that over 99% of all livestock exported in 2008 arrived fit and healthy at their destination.

Tips for stress free yards

Minimal adjustments to cattle yards can have a major impact on stock movement according to US stock handling expert Dr Temple Grandin.

Dehorning best practice

In 2007, MLA produced a booklet entitled “A guide to best practice husbandry in beef cattle – branding, castrating and dehorning.” It is authored by Ross Newman and is very well put together with appropriate photos and diagrams.

Johne’s Disease - a sinister herd problem

Johne’s disease (JD) is caused by a bacterium (mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis) which slowly but progressively infects domestic and non domestic ruminants. JD is a serious disease to the grazing industries since it can reduce profits, increase social costs and introduce negative animal welfare issues.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation (ES) of beef carcases has been shown to increase meat tenderness. But studies funded by the former Meat Research Corporation (MRC) found that the technique was not a “fix” in itself. It was a management tool that must be used properly and in conjunction with other slaughter floor and chilling procedures to deliver consistent tenderness.

Stringhalt in Cattle

A practical problem for any stud breeder irrespective of breed is to deal with inherited faults in cattle. A further challenge is to correct suspected inherited faults which only become evident due to a combination of factors.

How to interpret accuracy of EBVs

By definition EBVs are an estimate. That is; they are Estimated Breeding Values. For this reason an accuracy value is presented with every EBV and gives an indication of the amount of information that has been used in the calculation of that EBV.

Poor Sucking Reflex

The inability of some calves to suckle has been observed by many breeders. Studies (USA) suggest that as much as 30% of post partum sucking problems are due to the lack of an instinctive ability to suck which if unattended leads to death.

Australian Beef Genetics

Australia’s registered beef cattle seedstock industry has been on a serious slide for the past 13 years. In 2003 registrations hit their lowest point in the last two decades. Figure 1 shows a graph of registrations since 1990. The loss of registrations has been 28.3% in 13 years. Unfortunately, these statistics project an image of an industry rushing towards obsolescence.

Needles don't go on vaccine guns any-old-how

A needle is a pipe cut at an angle with razor sharp leading edges. The objective when vaccinating is to get the opening of the needle resting between the skin and underlying tissues. This is achieved by orientating the needle so that at entry at about 45° to the skin, THE BEVEL IS PARALLEL WITH THE SKIN.

Groundbreaking on-property project delivers results

One of Australia’s largest and most comprehensive on-property R&D projects hosted its final field day on 8 August.

Unravelling some of the “genome” technology

On the surface, cattle breeding still happens the same as it always has. However, the tools available to the producer making the critical decisions today have never been more complex. With advances in genetic technologies, you will have heard terms used and wondered about their meaning and application to your decisions in setting breeding objectives. Let’s make an attempt at unravelling the “barbed-wire” surrounding the genetic make up of an animal that has some similarities to the two strands of wire that frequently coil up at some time in a fencing career!

Stocking rates, productivity and profitability

We often hear the saying, ‘more cattle means more money’. But is this always the case? At Grazing Land Management and Nutrition EDGE workshops many producers have described how they have improved profitability by using conservative stocking rates.