When North meets South

Host: Northern Beef Futures
Written by Rebecca Butcher – Research Officer, DAFWA.

Hello everyone in the Central Station community. I am very excited that the WA Department of Agriculture and Food is hosting Central Station this week. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the industry to get to know what the Northern Beef Futures project is all about, what’s in it for them and the opportunities to collaborate and benefit!

3.1 copyRebecca Butcher, Research Officer.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Rebecca Butcher and I work for the Department of Agriculture and Food on the Northern Beef Futures project. I am based in Moora which is approximately 200km north of Perth and approximately 300km south of Geraldton – the surrounding region between Perth and Geraldton is known as the Northern Agricultural Region.

This region is mostly represented by mixed farming enterprises such as cropping, sheep, and cattle. There are a small number of specialist livestock producers, but most are diversified. Cattle properties in this area are focussed along the coastal areas and vary in the markets they target. Live export and selling to feedlots are probably the main market options available to local producers. One key feature of the region is it’s popularity as a pastoral cattle backgrounding area.

3.2 copyPilbara cattle enjoying some sub-tropical perennial pastures.

The Northern Beef Futures project is a wide and varied one, with lots of exciting developments. By now you would have read the aims and objectives of the project so I won’t bore you with writing them all over again here.

Instead of a production focus, we are looking at diversifying markets and improving market access.

3.3 copyLong haul transport of cattle from the North to Southern agricultural areas.

One of the areas for diversification and expansion that we are looking at is the integration of northern cattle into southern production systems.  The movement of Northern cattle down south can complement the differences in seasons and even out seasonal supply of cattle to southern backgrounders, feedlotters, and processors.

3.4 copyNorthern Cattle in southern feedlots and export depots.

As I mentioned before the area we call the Northern Agricultural region is popular for backgrounding cattle, but there is still plenty that we don’t know and a great opportunity to increase backgrounding for a range of market options such as supply to local feedlots, feeding own cattle for direct sale to processors – and many more! My job is to investigate these options and find those that are most profitable and viable.

In our next blog you will read all about our work in building international markets for WA beef and cattle, but in the meantime if you would like to know more visit our webpage on the DAFWA website.

DAFWA’s Northern Beef Futures project is funded by the State Government Royalties for Regions program.