New book unlocks northern beef mystery | My Machinery
CASE Agriculture
New book unlocks northern beef mystery

Phosphorus is a vital nutrient for northern beef, but getting grazing beef cattle the right amount at the right time has been open to conjecture – until now. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), in partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia, has launched a new book that is a practical guide to getting the most out of phosphorous supplements. Phosphorus Management of Beef Cattle in Northern Australia brings together the expertise of Queensland, West Australian and Northern Territory beef nutrition specialists. According to DAFF’s Desiree Jackson, who led the compilation of the book, it breaks down the confusion over the recommendations for feeding and the practical difficulties in getting lick out to cattle during the wet. Co-funded by Meat & Livestock Australia, the book also describes the tests required to determine animal phosphorus status. The publication moves to clarify doubts producers may have about the economic returns from feeding this important nutrient. Ms Jackson said it was well documented that phosphorus was one of the most important nutritional deficiencies in grazing beef cattle in northern Australia. However, confusion over the topic had made its use fairly low. “The importance of phosphorus to productivity and the considerable research and advisory efforts on the benefits of phosphorus supplementation in beef cattle are well known,” Ms Jackson said. However, Ms Jackson said the adoption of phosphorus supplementation, particularly during the wet season, remained low. “The book is a completely revised version of the previous McCosker and Winks book on phosphorus feeding in northern Australia. “It is written in a user-friendly format to allow easy access to information.”

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