A New Experiment of Importance

15 September 1949 Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga)

The fact that the Australian beef export trade is entirely governed by seasonal conditions in the cattle country has been cause for considerable concern to these who are engaged in the urgent task of feeding a meat-hungry world. 

Most of the Australian export beef comes from Queensland and Western Australia, and since the cattle country in both of these States is subject to violent variations in seasonal conditions, it follows that there are violent fluctuations in the quantity, apart altogether from the quality, of the beef that is available for export.

From time to time attempts have been made to encourage beef production in the other States of the Commonwealth but, up to this point, these attempts have been defeated by a succession of good seasons in the cattle country, and a compensating fall in beef export prices that has rendered the industry unprofitable in the more closely settled States. 

With the demand for beef at a high and constant level, and with the price consistent with the demand, special emphasis is being placed on the experiments that have been carried out by Mr. G. H. Hooper, at Talbingo Station, in the Tumut district, during the last three years, for the stall-feeding of cattle, in most other countries it is the common practice to 'top-off' cattle in stalls, but it remained for Mr. G. H. Hooper to introduce the system on a practical scale to this country, and the results have been entirely satisfactory.

Talbingo Station carries approximately one thou- sand head of Hereford cattle, and during the winter months between 150 and 170 two-year-old steers are 'topped-off' in stalls on hay, chaff, and concentrates, and move off in weekly drafts to the Homebush market. 

That is an entirely new departure, and it might well prove to be the solution to the problem of our beef export trade.

There is no sound reason for the beef cattle industry to be concentrated In parts of the Commonwealth where free-range grazing is the only prospect of fattening, if stall feeding in the more closely settled localities can increase the quantity and quality of our production, and give continuity to both.