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Malarga Grazing

Malarga Grazing case study

A case study that demonstrates the importance of innovation in beef production.

Raising cattle runs in Cam Hughes’s blood - his family has farmed beef in Queensland for 100 years.

Cam runs Malarga Grazing with his wife Lisa and his father Brian, and today business is better than ever as their production grows to meet rising demand.

In an attempt to lift output through scientific innovation, the family is looking for answers to a question that has beef producers puzzled: Why are artificial insemination conception rates so low?

The current rate is just 60% and producers like Cam want to know why, so next year the Hughes’ Blairmore property will be used as part of an artificial insemination program trial.

Rising demand

This is just one example of Malarga Grazing’s commitment to innovative farming methods. Over the past three years the business has also helped trial a new cattle tagging system and has adjusted its pasture program to increase beef yields. 

All up, Malarga Grazing has about 8,500 cattle and sells about 2,000 head a year as demand from China, Korea and Japan grows.  

With beef performing so well in the market at the moment, Lisa says the family is taking the opportunity to upgrade their properties.

New varieties

“We chose to increase expenditure on farm last year. We were capitalising on good returns and putting money back into the business."

As part of this project, the family has planted numerous new varieties of grass to improve the pastures and, in turn, beef yields.

“This has improved our weights no end,” Lisa says. “It’s a good chance to make a bit of money and improve our fixed infrastructure, plant and equipment."

Things you should know: This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Agri Insights canvassed 1,405 Australian farmers about their intentions for their farm enterprise over the coming 12 months, as well as the past 12 months. We spoke to a representative sample of rural producers across Australia. Fieldwork was executed by Fairfax Agricultural Research and Marketing using its database of more than 100,000 rural producers, and the research was managed by Kynetec. Calls were conducted in September 2017. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.