A TRIAL examining the difference between autumn and winter born calves is will be the focus of a field day at Alcoa Farmlands in Fairbridge next month.
The five year study is a joint initiative between the Department of Agriculture and the Cooperative Research Centre for Cattle and Beef Quality in collaboration with Alcoa Farmlands.
Department Research Officer, Donna Read said the goals of the project were to increase the amount of kilograms of beef produced per hectare and reduce the need for supplementary feeds by improving the match between the cows nutritional demands and increases in pasture production and nutrition.
"The project has been running for a year and we can now give beef producers the opportunity to have a look at the autumn and winter born (2002) groups of calves prior to weaning at the end of the year," she said.
"Attendees will also hear about improvements made in pasture management and the potential economic benefits of shifting calving to winter or spring."
The next stage of the trial will investigate the effect of different growth paths of the progeny to domestic slaughter weights on the eating quality of meat and costs of production.
Ms Read said calving in winter or spring would generally result in younger, lighter weaners than the traditional autumn calves and could give producers the opportunity to finish them out of season to attain higher prices.
The field day is on December 11 from 10am at Alcoa Farmlands in Fairbridge. For more information contact Donna on (08) 97 806 100