ON FARM

Overview

Australian livestock are born and raised on farms.

Two-thirds of cattle and almost all sheep and lambs spend their entire lives in this pasture-based environment, while grainfed cattle (one-third of cattle) spend the majority of their lives on farms.

Playing matchmaker

Australia is a land of extreme environments.

From the humid tropics, to icy valleys, hot deserts and lush mountainsides, Australia has it all. And even from year to year, the same region can face climatic extremes from drought to flooding rains.

The industry has long-known that a cookie-cutter approach to red meat production just won’t work. The right cattle and sheep breeds need to be matched to the right climate and environment.

Over Australia’s history, our livestock have evolved from solely being British breeds which have thrived in our southern temperate areas in particular, but haven’t fared as well with the ticks and heat in northern Australia.

Over the years Australia’s breeds have diversified so our livestock are in sync with the diverse environments around the country. For instance, tropical breeds (Bos Indicus) were introduced to overcome the tick and heat problems experienced by British breeds (Bos Taurus).

Cross breeding between British and tropical breeds have introduced new breeds that bring the best of both worlds – livestock that lend themselves to tropical conditions and also mature quickly and grow muscle bulk rapidly.

What's on the menu?

For an animal to be classified as ‘grassfed’ it needs to spend its entire life grazing pastures.

Due to seasonal conditions, many farmers supplementary feed their cattle on a range of feedstocks like hay or silage and, in some cases, grain. 

Cattle registered under the Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS) have more specific regulations around supplementary feeding.

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