Livestock Production Systems (AGRO4005)


This unit examines livestock production following a whole system approach by integrating animals, vegetation, environment (soil, water, air and climate) and management, and analysing the interactions between them. The unit builds on principles delivered in core (AGEN1001, AGEN1004 and AGEN2006) and elective (ANSC3101, AVBS4012) units of study for those students interested in pursuing a career in Animal Science. The focus of this unit is on farm business planning and consulting for beef cattle and sheep. Particularities and commonalities of these livestock systems will be presented.
The pasture/grassland section examines the relationship between livestock production, forage quality and quantity in both native and sown pastures, impact of weeds, and grazing management. Interactions between climate, forage and animal production are also addressed. The animal component of this unit integrates concepts in grazing ecology, nutrition, reproduction, animal behaviour and welfare, and economics to develop skills in managing the production process for improved productivity, production efficiency and environmental stewardship. A special characteristic of this unit is the strong focus on simulation models, decision support systems, and new technologies. Computer-based and field classes will provide direct experience in business management of livestock production systems and skills in record keeping and data handling. Students completing this unit will acquire skills to examine and manage livestock enterprises following a whole-system approach required in roles as consultants, advisors or managers of sustainable livestock enterprises.

Further unit of study information


1 x 3hr lecture followed by 1 x 3hr practical per week at Camden Campus


Mid-term exam (15%), final exam (30%), practical reports (10%), case study assignment (40%), seminar presentation (5%).

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


6cp from BIOL1XXX

Assumed knowledge

Junior plant and animal biology (or equivalent), junior chemistry biology, intermediate crop and animal production, nutrition and physiology (or equivalent).

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.