Boosting livestock resilience in Northern Australia

White Brahman cattle in the Northern Territory

Beachport’s White Cap is proving to be a game-changer for producers around the Pilbara and Western Kimberley, who are facing the driest wet season in almost four decades and severe nutrition pressure for livestock.

A shortage of live export boats, with many currently committed to transporting stock in South America, is creating further challenges.

Founder of Beachport Liquid Minerals and fourth generation livestock producer, Kym Sutherland, recently returned from a two-week trip across northern WA and the NT, visiting with long-term clients and hearing about the pivotal role of Beachport’s products in a challenging season.

“To see firsthand the remarkable results from our long-term clients in the north is nothing short of inspiring,” Kym said. “We’re seeing some incredible results when White Cap is used year-round, with healthier livestock and maintained productivity even in adverse conditions.

“It was great to see that around Kununurra, the Eastern Kimberley, Katherine and Darwin the season has been better, with clients reporting a good average wet with ideal rainfall and minimal flooding.”

“We’re seeing some incredible results when White Cap is used year-round, with healthier livestock and maintained productivity even in adverse conditions.

Kym said the effectiveness of White Cap in bolstering livestock nutrition and production, backed by client data from their own on-property trials, further validates results from Beachport’s successful University of Adelaide trial.

Priced from $0.83 cents per head per month versus around $3 per head per month for blocks and lick, White Cap is also being praised for its ability to drop block and lick consumption. Producers have found that when used in conjunction with White Cap, consumption can drop by as much as 60%, meaning significant dollar savings.

As well as enjoying the benefits of White Cap, clients are having tremendous success with Green Cap, which is specifically designed to lower stress in livestock during key times like weaning and transport.

Kym said the dry conditions had led many Northern Australia producers to rethink traditional strategies, such as trucking cattle south into Western Australia.

“Producers in the Pilbara and Western Kimberley regions would usually truck young cattle south, however the extremely dry conditions are instead seeing these cattle being trucked east into the Territory’s flood plain region,” Kym said.

“When you have young cattle being transported over these distances, reducing stress to assist with minimising weight loss during transit, then getting them back onto feed, faster, is crucial. This is where Green Cap comes into play.”

Kym applauded the resilience and willingness of Northern Australia producers to diversify. During his trip he took special notice of the introduction of the Wagyu breed into some breeding programs.

“This allows producers to have two options with young weaners – live export, as well as the potential of backgrounding for the Australian domestic beef market,” he said. “White Cap and Green Cap are becoming part and parcel of their breeder, weaning, backgrounding and feedlot programs, maximising production and profit opportunities.”

Kym was inspired by the collaborative spirit among northern producers and grateful to be invited to the Fodder to Farm day in Katherine, hosted by the Northern Hub.

“Listening to the speakers that day and seeing the irrigation and containment feeding that’s going on shows that the livestock industry in Australia’s north is moving rapidly to adapt to both climatic and political uncertainty,” he said.

“With sustainability and profitability so clearly being top of mind in the future vision for Northern Australia producers, Beachport products tick all the boxes for them moving forward.”

You can learn more about the benefits of White Cap here.