News & Media

Forums delve into driving beef business

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Released on:
Wednesday, 10. April 2013 - 9:30

Recent forums run by the Department of Agriculture and Food have given beef producers a greater insight to key profit drivers for their business.

Department development officer Allison Watson said the ‘Beef: because it is good business’ forums presented information ranging from industry to individual farm business scale, including key findings from the WA beef business analysis.

“The analysis reinforced the importance of knowing how many kilograms of beef are produced per hectare and the cost to produce each kilogram, as these figures are strongly related to business profitability,” Ms Watson said.

“One of the key ways in which beef producers can influence these figures is through increasing pasture utilisation and stocking rate. Importantly, these profit drivers are under the control and management of beef producers.”

Ms Watson said beef producers used about a third of the pasture that they grew.

“Increasing pasture utilisation, through practises such as rotational grazing, can provide a platform for increasing stocking rate which will, in turn, increase beef produced per hectare,” she said.

“As most costs in a beef business are fixed costs, increasing stocking rate will also reduce cost of production as those fixed costs are spread over more kilograms of beef.”

The day concluded with young beef producers presenting case studies of their own businesses, including how they use benchmarking and annual business analysis to identify opportunities.

Tim Prosser, from Scott River, talked about his beef business and why an annual business analysis is as important as what they do in the paddock.

“How can you run a business if you don’t know what you are growing and what it is costing your to produce it? Without this knowledge you are running a business blind,” Mr Prosser said.

“As producers we are constantly being told we need to be more efficient and we have done this in the paddock, now it is time to do it on the books.

“Being involved in the WA beef business analysis has given us accurate figures to allow us to objectively assess where our business is at and to identify opportunities for improved efficiencies.”

The forums were held in late March in Bridgetown and Dandaragan. The WA Beef Business analysis will be running again this year, with data collection starting in July.

If you would like more information about participating in the 2013 analysis please contact Allison Watson on 9892 8437 or

Media contact:  Jodie Thomson, media liaison        +61 (0)8 9368 3937