Growing profit from the ground up

Perennials support cattle backgrounding enterprise

Farmers: Craig and Donelle Forsyth
Location: Dongara, Western Australia
Property size: 3600ha
Mean Annual Rainfall: 400–450mm
Soils: Sandplain with varying degrees of fertility — some sand over gravel, some deep white and yellow sands
Enterprises: 150 Angus breeders, backgrounding cattle

Fifteen years ago Craig and Donelle Forsyth were facing mounting problems in their sheep and cropping enterprise in Western Australia’s Northern Agriculture Region (NAR) and knew they had to make some radical changes if they wanted to keep farming. Incorporating perennial sub-tropical pastures and beef cattle has given their business a new lease of life.

A field day at the Forsyth farm provided an opportunity for others to see the perennial grasses that Craig Forsyth says have helped turn the farm around. (Photos: DAFWA and CSIRO)

A field day at the Forsyth farm provided an opportunity for others to see the perennial grasses that Craig Forsyth says have helped turn the farm around. (Photos: DAFWA and CSIRO)

Key points

  • Sub-tropical grasses and forage shrubs have provided productive pastures for cattle.
  • Working in alliance with pastoralists enables the Forsyths to match stocking rates to feed on offer.
  • The pasture, including annual grasses, in between shrub rows is important to overall productivity.

Click here to download the Forsyth case study (PDF 1.2MB)

Note: This case study was developed as part of the Enrich project under the former Future Farm Industries CRC.