SheepLinks - FEED365

Page last updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2022 - 7:33am

FEED365 is a four-year project (2021–2025) under the SheepLinks program that engages sheep producers and allied industries to re-design livestock forage systems for grazing all-year-round in Mediterranean environments.

The SheepLinks program is a partnership between the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), to underpin the future prosperity of the sheep industry in Western Australia.

FEED365 aims to create resilient sheep production systems to enable farmers to increase livestock returns by grazing quality (preferably green) forage all year round with minimal supplementary feeding.

Objectives

  • To re-design the pasture/forage systems in the wheatbelt of WA to be more productive and resilient in the face of a drying climate and increasing seasonal variability.
  • To measure the impact of trees in the landscape on pasture productivity.

The desired long-term outcome of the project is to reduce supplementary feeding costs of a typical mixed farming business by 30% and lift on-farm profitability by 10%.

Key activities

FEED365 will evaluate forage species from a wide selection of traditional and novel species under grazing at the DPIRD Katanning Research Station (see photos 1 and 2). These include:

  • perennial legumes and grasses
  • annual legumes and grasses
  • specialist winter forages such as forage brassicas and forage cereals
  • grazing crops
  • opportunistic summer forages such as C4 tropical grasses
  • crop stubbles
  • shrubs.
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Paddock B14 at Katanning Research Facility with 26 half-hectare grazing paddocks - 5 November 2021
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Paddock B1 at Katanning Research Facility with 22 half-hectare grazing paddocks – 14 September 2021

The project will also partner with the Grower Group Alliance and individual grower groups on satellite demonstration sites which will give producers a chance to be directly involved in the research and see the results firsthand.

Podcast episode: The FEED365 Project

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DPIRD Feedbase Pasture Researcher Daniel Real talks about the FEED365 project and solving a common problem for farmers in the West Midlands region and across WA: early and late season feed gaps. Joined by West Midlands Group’s Simon Kruger and Melanie Dixon the episode gives an insight into FEED365, the first phase of research, and how this innovative and far-reaching project will be working with farmers across WA, aiming to eliminate the need for confinement feeding in periods of low feed quality and availability.

Listen here

PaddockChat podcast developed by the West Midlands Group.

Contact information

For more information or details about the SheepLinks FEED365 project, please contact Senior Research Scientist Daniel Real at Daniel.Real@dpird.wa.gov.au or phone +61 (0)409 016 422.

Contact information

Daniel Real