A survey of the meat goat industry in Queensland and New South Wales. 1. General property information, goat and pasture management

Nogueira, D.M., Gardiner, C.P., Gummow, B., Cavalieri, J., Fitzpatrick, L.A., and Parker, A.J. (2016) A survey of the meat goat industry in Queensland and New South Wales. 1. General property information, goat and pasture management. Animal Production Science, 56 (9). pp. 1520-1532.

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Abstract

This study aimed to survey farmers' knowledge and practices on the management of pastures, stocking rates and markets of meat goat-producing enterprises within New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. An interview-based questionnaire was conducted on properties that derived a significant proportion of their income from goats. The survey covered 31 landholders with a total land area of 567 177 ha and a reported total of 160 010 goats. A total of 55% (17/31) of producers were involved in both 'opportunistic harvesting' and commercial goat operations, and 45% (14/31) were specialised seedstock producers. Goats were the most important livestock enterprise on 55% (17/31) of surveyed properties. Stocking rate varied considerably (0.3–9.3 goats/ha) within and across surveyed properties and was found to be negatively associated with property size and positively associated with rainfall. Overall, 81% (25/31) of producers reported that the purpose of running goats on their properties was to target international markets. Producers also cited the importance of targeting markets as a way to increase profitability. Fifty-three percent of producers were located over 600 km from a processing plant and the high cost of freight can limit the continuity of goats supplied to abattoirs. Fencing was an important issue for goat farmers, with many producers acknowledging this could potentially add to capital costs associated with better goat management and production. Producers in the pastoral regions appear to have a low investment in pasture development and opportunistic goat harvesting appears to be an important source of income.

Item ID: 38730
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1836-5787
Keywords: feral goats, Boer goats, markets, meat, rangelands
Funders: James Cook University, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), EMBRAPA
Projects and Grants: MLA Meat goat survey
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2015 04:37
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070203 Animal Management @ 40%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070202 Animal Growth and Development @ 60%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830304 Goats @ 100%
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