As the growing seasons across southern Australia appear to be shortening in line with changing climate, the ability to finish livestock to a saleable weight is becoming increasingly challenging without grain supplementation. Feed grain demand is predicted to increase and livestock managers will need to become more astute in sourcing grain based on the predicted value to livestock productivity rather than purely on a $/t basis. There is an opportunity for growers to capitalise on this growth area by marketing grain on its nutritive value.
The ability to increase marketing opportunities for downgraded grain which may not be of lesser value to the livestock industry is of particular value to grain growers.
June 30, 2010
June 30, 2013
Productive Nutrition: San Jolly.
Without alternative marketing opportunities, growers face varying degrees of financial loss due to downgraded cereal grain that fails to meet intended market specifications.
Productive Nutrition Pty Ltd investigated the opportunity to gain increased returns to growers by providing another marketing opportunity for feed grains to livestock industries.
The core objectives of the project were to determine:
In the field
About 520 cereal grain samples were collected annually, analysed and their nutritive value compared for each of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Samples were sourced from National Variety Trial (NVT) sites, the SARDI oat breeding program and the Hart Field Site and included eight or more varieties each season of oats, barley, triticale and wheat.
Test weight and screenings were collected to determine which samples would have been downgraded due to these quality parameters.
A dollar value of the grain based on receival grade was compared to the value calculated based on nutritive value.
Samples were analysed across all parameters to determine if trends in nutritive value and quality existed and whether they were influenced by fertiliser application or other environmental factors.
Significant variations across variety, site, season and species were found for all nutritive characteristics although there was no effect of agronomic treatments within each site. These characteristics include crude protein, metabolisable energy, starch concentration and neutral detergent fibre. This highlights the importance of testing grain for nutritive value, rather than using industry averages, to enable grain to be sold on this basis.
When a dollar value was assigned to all downgraded grain samples based on their potential value to livestock producers, the potential annual financial benefit to growers nationally was $105 million to $212 million. The average benefit across the seasons was $27/t for oats, $19/t for barley, $25/t for triticale and $17/t for wheat.
A grain value calculator is being developed for online use which will enable growers to value their own grain should they decide to use this marketing option.
Value for growers
Key findings in this project have been: