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Seeking sheep and goat producers for trials of GPS-tracking

Published:06 August 2019

Producer partners are being sought to participate in on-farm trials of GPS-tracking systems to improve grazing management of sheep and goats in Western Queensland rangelands.

CQUniversity and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are seeking producer partners to participate in on-farm trials of GPS-tracking systems to improve grazing management of sheep and goats in Western Queensland rangelands.

The roll-out of exclusion fences across Western Queensland has meant that small ruminant production (sheep and goats) is becoming increasingly popular as it provides management and cashflow flexibility to ensure rangelands enterprises remain resilient.

However, sheep and goats are well known for their tendency to overgraze some areas of a paddock while leaving other areas completely untouched – a factor which can cause erosion and soil loss.

According to lead researcher Dr Mark Trotter from CQUniversity, this behaviour also provides an opportunity.

“By measuring the spatial grazing activity of sheep it may be possible to design intervention strategies that encourage sheep and goats to use all of the available resources in a paddock,” Dr Trotter said.

“This means optimal use of the feed-base to maximise pasture utilisation, productivity and profitability, while reducing the risk of overgrazing.”

The project, an initiative of the Central Queensland Livestock Centre of Excellence*, will also explore techniques that might optimise grazing landscape utilisation with future work aimed at implementing and evaluating these ideas.

To participate email gps.sheep@cqu.edu.au or contact with Mark Trotter (CQU) on m.trotter@cqu.edu.au or Leanne Hardwick (QDAF) 0436 912 349. 

What is the CQ Livestock Centre of Excellence?

  • AgForce, DAF, CQUni and QATC have partnered to deliver producer-led research addressing the region’s specific production challenges
  • It acts as a research and extension delivery arm to address priorities identified by MLA and NABRC’s local committees
  • It is particularly focused on improving on-farm productivity and practice change using digital technologies to boost animal management, genetic performance, and financial literacy.