Research Thesis Topic
Livestock Productivity Benefits Associated With Cluster Fencing
Substantial private and public investments have been made into constructing pest-proof netting fences (‘cluster fences’) around multiple grazing properties in western Queensland. Effective control of many vertebrate pests (e.g. wild dogs, kangaroos, feral pigs and feral goats) is now possible across large areas, by denying immigration, offering widespread and substantial benefits to agriculture and the environment. Broad-scale monitoring of these investments is limited to recording changes in crude livestock numbers, pest control activity and qualitative environmental assessments. However, there is little information on the mechanisms by which livestock productivity benefits accrue. This project seeks to determine the gains in livestock production from reduced predation and kangaroo competition resulting from cluster fencing. This project will involve collation and analysis of data on, for example, livestock weight gain, reproductive output, survival and injuries. It will also require evaluation of the relative contributions of kangaroos and livestock to total grazing pressure. Whole-farm systems modelling might also be undertaken by combining empirical data from on-farm and off-farm activities (e.g. changes in livestock numbers, economics, pasture growth, weather) to identify the fastest route to payback on fencing investment, identify which mechanism provides that payback (e.g. increased stocking rates, diversification of stock, getting paid for ecosystem services (e.g. carbon storage) and improved financial risk management), and describe how to achieve that payback.
- Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
- Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
- Animal Production
Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic
This project will require travel to remote areas.