Con­fer­ence held as leu­caena use in­creases in beef in­dus­try

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rainfall -

THE in­creas­ing use of the tree legume leu­caena in north­ern Aus­tralia’s beef pro­duc­tion sys­tems will be show­cased next week when the 2018 In­ter­na­tional Leu­caena Con­fer­ence is held in Queens­land from Oc­to­ber 29 to Novem­ber 3.

Sup­ported by Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia, The Univer­sity of Queens­land, the Aus­tralian Cen­tre for In­ter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Re­search, some pri­vate donors, and The Leu­caena Net­work, the con­fer­ence will com­prise a three-day field trip to some of Queens­land’s most suc­cess­ful large-scale leu­caena grow­ers, fol­lowed by a two-and-a-half-day con­fer­ence at UQ’s St Lu­cia Cam­pus, Bris­bane.

The event will then con­clude with a ded­i­cated beef pro­duc­ers’ fo­rum on the fi­nal morn­ing.

MLA project man­ager – re­search and de­vel­op­ment grass­fed beef Dr Nigel Tomkins said the con­fer­ence would bring to­gether both Aus­tralia’s and the world’s most ex­pe­ri­enced sci­en­tists, ex­ten­sion work­ers and live­stock pro­duc­ers to share their knowl­edge of Leu­caena.

Dr Tomkins said del­e­gates would hear about a new hy­poth­e­sis re­gard­ing how cat­tle could man­age high leu­caena di­ets with­out the need to use the cur­rent ru­men in­ocu­lum. This is a con­tro­ver­sial is­sue, but new re­search re­sults from In­done­sia have im­pli­ca­tions for Aus­tralian pro­duc­ers.

MLA’s most re­cent in­vest­ment in a ster­ile leu­caena breed­ing pro­gram through the MLA Donor Com­pany will also be one of the top­ics dis­cussed, and rep­re­sents a part­ner­ship be­tween MLA, UQ and the Western Aus­tralian De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment to di­rectly ad­dress an in­dus­try is­sue.

“Del­e­gates will also gain an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the value of leu­caena in mit­i­gat­ing meth­ane emis­sions, and se­ques­ter­ing car­bon,” Dr Tomkins said.

“This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant and top­i­cal with the re­cent re­lease of the lat­est re­port on global warm­ing from the United Na­tions In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change and MLA’s ini­tia­tive to iden­tify path­ways for Aus­tralia’s red meat sec­tor to be­come car­bon neu­tral by 2030.

“The con­fer­ence pro­vides an in­valu­able op­por­tu­nity to net­work and share in­for­ma­tion and ex­pe­ri­ences with del­e­gates from around the world. The Latin Amer­i­can del­e­gates are par­tic­u­larly keen to fos­ter col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ships with Aus­tralia.”

For more in­for­ma­tion and to reg­is­ter for the con­fer­ence visit: www.leu­caena con­fer­ence 2018.org.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

FAB­U­LOUS FEED: Leu­caena is high pro­tein and an ex­cel­lent dry sea­son and drought fod­der.

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