Optimising fodder beet grazing management for beef cattle
Determine the optimum stocking rate, grazing face and crop allocation to maximise the growth rate of steers grazing fodder beet crops.
Grazing fodder beet crops in situ has been pioneered by the New Zealand livestock industries and achieved positive gains in animal performance. Fodder beet crops enable the autumn-winter feed gap to be filled cheaply and allow growth rates in excess of 1kg/hd/day to be achieved in weaner cattle.
Little is known about the optimal stocking rates, allocation of leaf and bulb (grazing face) and daily allocation of beets and the effect that changes in these parameters have on animal performance.
Key methodology: Work within existing fodder beet research project on farm trial sites (5) throughout south east of South Australia.
Study production animal health
While his primary work is in the genetic improvement of beef cattle, Professor Wayne Pitchford has also supervised projects in sheep, goats, pigs and deer.
Potential honours projects also exist in the discipline areas of reproduction, meat quality, lamb density, feed efficiency, physiology, animal behaviour and welfare, walk-over-weigh technology, development of statistical methods, forage crop breeding, systems for developing countries, social science, participatory extension, and social media.
Professor Pitchford has good co-supervisors who are closely linked with industry. He always attempts to develop projects that suit your interests and career goals.