Technical annual report 2000-01
Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295
Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).
Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals
Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries
Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295
Check within Publication or with content Publisher.
Technical Annual Report 2000/01 69 gain over this eight-month period, is illustrated in Table 2. It seems necessary to avoid rutting behaviour to optimise camel production. Importantly however, camel-rutting behaviour did not affect cattle weight gains. Cograzing camels with cattle substantially increased the weight of livestock grazed per km2. In the three periods that camels were cograzed with steers, they accounted for 52%, 28% and 26% of the total livestock weight maintained per km2 in the cograzed paddocks. Equivalent increases in the cattle stocking rate per km2 would be expected to cause their production to suffer under most seasonal conditions. Running young bull camels at stocking rates of approximately one camel per km2 with steers resulted in camel weight gains accounting for 10% (after being affected by rutting behaviour) of the total livestock weight produced per km2 in 1999/2000 and 16% in 2000/01. Conclusion: If markets for camels continue to expand and it becomes economically viable to domesticate significant numbers of camels, this trial has shown that they can be successfully cograzed with cattle. Under careful management, a successful outcome of unchanged cattle production, plus additional camel production could be achieved without negative impact on pasture resources. Cograzing however may increase variable and capital costs somewhat when compared with grazing cattle only. Cograzing may be even more applicable to the large areas of marginal land in Central Australia (such as spinifex and mulga country) than in the more productive land types used in this trial. The proportional contribution that camels could make to total livestock production would be expected to be higher on land types more marginal for cattle grazing and where there are long distances between water points.