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The reliability of supply of feed grains in the northern region

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Hammer, G.L., Potgieter, A. and Strahan, R. (2003) The reliability of supply of feed grains in the northern region. In: 5th Australian Maize Conference Proceedings, Toowoomba, Qld, 18-20 February 2003, 18-20 February 2003, Toowoomba, Qld,.


Publisher URL: http://www.maizeaustralia.com.au


Reliability of supply of feed grain has become a high priority issue for industry in the northern region. Expansion by major intensive livestock and industrial users of grain, combined with high inter-annual variability in seasonal conditions, has generated concern in the industry about reliability of supply. This paper reports on a modelling study undertaken to analyse the reliability of supply of feed grain in the northern region. Feed grain demand was calculated for major industries (cattle feedlots, pigs, poultry, dairy) based on their current size and rate of grain usage. Current demand was estimated to be 2.8Mt. With the development of new industrial users (ethanol) and by projecting the current growth rate of the various intensive livestock industries, it was estimated that demand would grow to 3.6Mt in three years time. Feed grain supply was estimated using shire scale yield prediction models for wheat and sorghum that had been calibrated against recent ABS production data. Other crops that contribute to a lesser extent to the total feed grain pool (barley, maize) were included by considering their production relative to the major winter and summer grains, with estimates based on available production records. This modelling approach allowed simulation of a 101-year time series of yield that showed the extent of the impact of inter-annual climate variability on yield levels. Production estimates were developed from this yield time series by including planted crop area. Area planted data were obtained from ABS and ABARE records. Total production amounts were adjusted to allow for any export and end uses that were not feed grain (flour, malt etc). The median feed grain supply for an average area planted was about 3.1Mt, but this varied greatly from year to year depending on seasonal conditions and area planted. These estimates indicated that supply would not meet current demand in about 30% of years if a median area crop were planted. Two thirds of the years with a supply shortfall were El Nino years. This proportion of years was halved (i.e. 15%) if the area planted increased to that associated with the best 10% of years. Should demand grow as projected in this study, there would be few years where it could be met if a median crop area was planted. With area planted similar to the best 10% of years, there would still be a shortfall in nearly 50% of all years (and 80% of El Nino years). The implications of these results on supply/demand and risk management and investment in research and development are briefly discussed.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Corporate Creators:Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), Agri-Science, Crop and Food Science
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Author version © Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.
Keywords:Feed grain; livestock industries; cattle feed lots; cattle industry.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Live Archive:24 Dec 2007
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:43

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