Current projects...



Pasture Principles aims to provide sheep and cattle producers with a set of guiding principles that will allow them to manage confidently regardless of the season, situation or system. The program is delivered over a 12-month period and consists of two days of theory, followed by six on farm coaching sessions.

For more information: Pasture Principles 2018 – program information v3

Groups commence in February each year, or earlier if sufficient interest is received.

To express your interest in participating in a group, please contact Sarah or Nikki | Ph: 03 6427 5300 | Email:


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Maximising pasture production and utilisation for best practice lamb finishing under irrigation

The Longford Red Meat Group (LRMG) is a group of young, progressive red meat producers looking to lift their profitability by improving their pasture and grazing management skills to increase pasture production and utilisation. They work together to solve some of the challenges in implementing best practice grazing management within irrigated cropping/grazing systems. Macquarie Franklin are working with the LRMG on a 3 year Producer Demonstration Site, funded by MLA and supported by TP Jones.

The question the group want to answer is:

Taking into account the influence of the type of pasture (rye grass vs white clover) and animal health considerations, are there production and profit benefits associated with modifying fencing infrastructure under centre pivots to improve grazing management and pasture utilisation?

Each trial consists of a pivot circle with half the area sown to rye grass and the other half to clover. These are then subdivided again to give a set stocked treatment and a rotational grazing treatme

nt. In addition to production data such as growth rates, dry matter production, animal liveweight gains, and number of price of lambs finished, input data is also being collected (e.g. labour, material costs etc). This will enable gross margins for the different treatments to be calculated.

The first of our three trials was hosted by Andrew Archer from Chester at Westwood. This trial wrapped up in June 2017. Click on the following for the summary report from the year 1 trial. LRMG Trial 1 summary July17

The year two trial is being hosted by John Ramsay from Ratho at Bothwell. The trial lambed down twin bearing ewes on the different treatments from early September (the rotational grazing treatments were set stocked during the lambing period). The lambs were marked on 4 October – click here for the lambing data. LRMG trial year 2 lambing results

Following marking the mobs were boxed up, and rotational grazing commenced for these treatments. At this time additional ewes and lambs were added to both the clover treatments.


The first of our three trials was hosted by Andrew Archer from Chester at Westwood. To listen to the ABC radio Tasmania’s Country Hour interview with Andrew click here.

The trial lambs were weaned on 28 November and additional lambs added to each of the treatments on 5 December. Click here to read the summary report on the trial results to weaning (i.e. for the breeding enterprise). LRMG trial update Jan18

LRMG partnered with the Water for Profit project to deliver a field day “Maximising Productivity of Irrigated Grazing Systems” on 30 November. The day was a great success, and clearly highlighted the strong interest in this trial from producers across the state with 80 people attending.  Other presentations from the field day available for download are:

Thanks to the trial sponsors for their support: TP Jones & Co, Agriwebb, Gallagher, Ag Logic, Incitec Pivot, Orion, Allflex.


Latest trial results – March 2018

Clover is out in front when it comes to gross margin performance in an irrigated finishing system. Click here to read the results summary from weaning through to the end of February – the trial report covers feed test and FEC results, as well as production and financial data. LRMG_trial update Mar18




Benchmarking is a business review method that provides you with vital business information, gives you a greater understanding of your business and enables you to make informed decisions based on facts, rather than assumptions.

Individual benchmarking analyses your business at a strategic and enterprise level, identifies strengths and weaknesses and allows you to make changes to improve business performance.

Group benchmarking allows you to compare your business performance with others, monitor business profitability and brainstorm practical management strategies with peers. Benchmarking groups are run by agricultural production and farm business management specialist, Basil Doonan.


For more information: MF benchmarking flyer

To register your interest in benchmarking, please contact Penny Hooper on 0408 948 308 or

Register online








The top performing grain growers in southern Australia are retaining 30% of their turnover as profit while the average are retaining closer to 10%.

To find out what the top business are doing differently to achieve this result download the report from the project

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Click here to listen to the short webinar that explains the project findings, delivered by Basil Doonan and Jason Lynch.


For Jason Lynch’s presentation at the recent GRDC Farm Business Update, 17th August (Launceston)

GRDC Business Update_Jason Lynch



With the involvement of 19 mixed farming businesses from across the state, Macquarie Franklin and Rural Directions have completed the analysis of their benchmarking project, which has identified what it takes to successfully integrate cropping and livestock enterprises in southern Australia. A consistent message from the project is that there is a large gap in financial performance between the Top 20% businesses and the Remaining 80% business. There is a great opportunity for many mixed enterprise producers to increase profit from the resource base that they currently manage, by better understanding what the key profit drivers and indicators for high performance are.

The next stage of this project, which is being funded by Meat and Livestock Australia will be two half day workshops, delivered in late March to share the project findings with progressive Tasmanian mixed farmers. One workshop will be held in southern Tasmania and the other in northern Tasmania. For more information on the workshops, keep an eye on the Macquarie Franklin website.

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future industry leaders – growinG PEOPLE

Macquarie Franklin and Shaping Change partnered to deliver the Future Industry Leaders – growing people program, which has recently concluded. This program was designed to build the leadership, people management and communication capability within Tasmania’s agricultural, forestry and seafood sectors. The program was an initiative of Tasmanian Farmers and Grazier’s Association (TFGA) and Agriskills Tasmania, and funded by the State Government.

Future Industry Leaders – growing people, has been a valued and successful project from the very beginning, and has clearly met an industry need. The program was over-subscribed with more than double the number of applications received as places available. FILGP was rated over 9/10 for both value and satisfaction, and participants have universally stated that the program exceeded their expectations- for many it has been life changing. It has re-shaped views on leadership and fostered the creation of networks and collaborations.