Producing bigger, fatter and juicier beef protects Reef

One of North Queensland’s premier research facilities is not only doing its bit to boost the state’s cattle industry but it’s gaining valuable insights into protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner visited the Spyglass Research Facility west of Townsville today to see how scientists are helping to grow the tropical beef cattle industry.

“This facility plays a leading role in advancing tropical and subtropical beef production and ecosystem management and is vital for the future profitability and sustainability of Queensland’s beef industry,” Mr Furner said.

“Getting cattle to grow faster makes good economic sense for producers but that also has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of every kilo of beef that is eaten at tables around the country.

“Getting a heifer in calf at an appropriate size and as quickly as possible reduces the carbon footprint of the herd. And that is good news for the environment.”

Mr Furner said Department of Agriculture and Fisheries researchers are also finding ways to reduce the cattle industry’s impact on the reef.

“Managing land condition through grazing pressure as well as stabilising gullies and erosion sites, where possible, is key to reducing sediment flows into the reef,” he said.

“It is this kind of innovation the Queensland government is investing in that will make Queensland farmers the best in the world.”

Spyglass is a 38,300 hectare research facility about 130 kilometres west of Townsville, capable of carrying 3,500 head of cattle.

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