Mustering the best of digital and satellite technology has helped CQUniversity to stand out from the herd at the triennial Beef Australia expo in Rockhampton.
CQUniversity was the official education and research partner for Beef Australia 2018 and took centre stage by hosting a number of activities, from symposiums to property tours and a hands-on high-tech stall at the Trade Fair.
Among the highlights was the launch of CQUni's DataMuster platform, drawing on seven years of research development as well as extensive field testing of the system, which uses electronic identification ear tags.
Beef Australia patrons had the chance to hear how the DataMuster is ready to assist producers in conquering their mustering, monitoring and management challenges.
CQUni Professor of Agriculture Dave Swain said DataMuster would give producers the opportunity to cut down on labour costs and enhance herd management decisions by monitoring cattle weight and suitability for market, detecting when a cow had calved and recording genetic data.
Up to 150 Australian and international guests attended the Belmont Research Station Property tour and a DataMuster app presentation at CQUniversity's Central Queensland Innovation and Research Precinct (CQIRP).
The property tour also featured during ABC Radio’s Queensland Country Hour.
CQUni’s Precision Livestock Managementteam showcased cutting-edge research technologies in use at Belmont including the walk-over-weighing systems connected to auto-drafters and vision recognition technology.
Participants also toured the neighbouring Beef Breeding Services laboratory and witnessed its artificial reproduction capabilities.
As part of the Belmont tour, Dr Mark Trotter showcased smart tags and behavioural patterns for early disease identification.
Dr Don Menzies spoke about automated livestock management systems, tracing of maternal parentage, calving dates, calf alerts and calf loss reduction.
Dr Kym Patison and Professor Swain presented on automated phenotyping (characteristic checking), links to Breedplan and improved objective genetic selection, auto-drafting for welfare, and minimisation of calf loss.
CQUni research officer Nick Corbet spoke on crush-side data collection as a benchmark for phenotypic (characteristic) sensors.
Belmont was also a showcase for CQUniversity's work on increasing the uptake of genetic performance recording in extensive beef production systems in Northern Australia.
The research is being conducted in collaboration with the Meat & Livestock Australia Donor Company and will feature the integration of CQUni’s sensor systems for use in industry performance recording programs.
CQUni’s genetics research project will test the use of Automated Livestock Management Systems (ALMS) to simplify collection of critical performance data to aid greater adoption of performance recording and genetic evaluations.