Conference held as leucaena use increases in beef industry
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.
FABULOUS FEED: Leucaena is high protein and an excellent dry season and drought fodder.