Over 70 people attended a seminar day on investment in agriculture hosted by the Mackinnon Project at the University of Melbourne’s Werribee campus on 28 September. 

Sessions on a wide variety of topics were highly praised by audience members for the variety of information presented, the mix of broad general interest and specific topics and the presentation of practical information that can be used on farm.

#InvestAgMackinnon attendees getting caffeinated and acquainted before sessions begin @MackinnonProj pic.twitter.com/J6neNGRg6D

— Caitlin Pfeiffer (@RHDandme) September 27, 2017

These included investment returns on owned and leased farming land, stocking rates, ewe profitability and breeding, and sessions by Mackinnon’s residents on their research into disease and infection management.

Feedback indicates 94 per cent of the audience rated the seminar day as very good or excellent and 91 per cent felt attending was very valuable or extremely valuable to their livestock farm. All said they would recommend the Mackinnon seminar to others.

Mackinnon's Leah Tyrell said research showed farmers can boost stocking rates to benefit from higher commodity prices, but cautioned attendees against allowing ground cover to fall below 70 per cent.

"When you push the stocking rate then you’re turning off lighter animals, but more of them and for wool, the sheep are cutting less, but the wool is finer," Dr Tyrell told the Weekly Times.

PF Olsen national agriculture manager Ed Dunn told the audience Australian citrus and tree nut produce – and the land it is grown on – are in high demand due to the ongoing effects of drought in California. He and Rural Bank analyst Michael Curtis were also featured in Weekly Times article focussing on surging farmland value.

The Mackinnon Project is an international leader in sheep and beef consultancy offering a unique range of services including farm management consultancies, farmer training programs, contract research and post graduate training programs, based in the Melbourne Veterinary School at the University’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences.

It was established in 1983 with the specific aim of improving the productivity and profitability of sheep flocks and beef herds, following a bequest from the Scobie and Claire Mackinnon Trust.

Contact the Mackinnon Project here.