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New MLA research to quantify labour input in Australian sheepmeat and cattle enterprises

Posted by Bestprac on Oct 02 2013

Labour contributes a significant cost to running a sheepmeat or beef cattle enterprise however there is little data on how much individual tasks contribute to this cost. In new research, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is looking to industry to help quantify this gap to ensure it can appropriately develop options for improving labour productivity and efficiency.

Quantifying Labour InputThe research, being conducted by Rural Directions Pty Ltd, is inviting sheepmeat and beef cattle producers to participate in the project which essentially asks them to sign up to use a new online tool that quantifies the labour input of their individual operations.

Participating producers will get a thorough understanding of their enterprise’s labour use which enables them to assess their labour efficiency and benchmark their results against industry peers.For industry as a whole, this will process will permit more meaningful quantitative evaluation of potential labour efficiency enhancing practices, infrastructure and technologies.

While labour is a core input to all farm businesses, many do not put an appropriate value on their time or analyse how their time is spent.

Labour is becoming increasingly difficult to source, particularly skilled labour, and so livestock businesses need to use labour more efficiently. To do this the first step is to understand how time is currently allocated across their business by measuring existing output levels to create a baseline position and that is where the quantifying labour input tool can assist.

This research project will use the data collected through to understand individual task types across an annual production cycle which in turn will permit more meaningful assessment of potential practices, infrastructure and technologies that aim to enhance productivity.

The data collected will allow for the identification of where the greatest opportunities exist that can improve efficiency of labour use by region and enterprise mix/type.

Download a case study and watch a 2 minute video on this project here

This is a national project, and we welcome the involvement of producers from all sheepmeat and beef cattle production systems.

To find out more or to participate in this MLA project visit

Producers can register at any time to begin involvement in the project, but Round 1 officially starts in November. Register by 4 November to participate in Round 1.

Natasha Morley
Rural Directions Pty Ltd
T: 08 8841 4500

Last changed: Oct 10 2013



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