image of merino sheep


Production & Economic Benefits

Our case studies show that positive outcomes from adopting regenerative landscape management practices can be felt economically, environmentally and socially. Many of the innovative farmers in our case studies sought more than a production increase, with goals related to the achievement of sustainability, better health or a balance in lifestyle.

Regardless of personal goals, case study participants have demonstrated gains across the whole of the farm balance sheet, including:

  • Increased and sustainable profits – a smoothing out the profit peaks and troughs often experienced with varying weather conditions
  • increased production volume
  • efficiency in water use
  • improved soil health and resilience
  • maintenance and improvement of the natural resource base
  • Production of more nutritious foods and healthier stock

- as well as a greater sense of personal wellbeing.

Overall, each of the 17 individual case study participants expressed their own motives for adopting regenerative landscape management practices, and correspondingly, each had varying production goals. However, by addressing soil health and focusing on their landscapes, particularly in terms of water management and biodiversity of vegetation, the innovative farmers in the case studies have experienced production and economic improvements such as those listed below.

Click on the property name to download the case study and read the whole story, visit the case study page for a summary of each, or visit our adopting regenerative practices page for ideas on how you can start on your own regenerative journey.

Property Production & Economic Highlights


Beef Cattle (QLD)
Innovations commenced: 1993

  • 30% increase in productivity with introduction of cell grazing
  • Increased productivity paid off infrastructure investment within 3 years
  • External inputs costs for seed, labour and machinery have ceased
  • Gross margin per hectare now between $64-$113; greatest in revegetated paddocks (about 40% canopy cover), measurably more than cleared paddocks


Beef Cattle (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 2001

  • Converted claypan and poor soils into productive pastures
  • Carrying capacity so far increased from 56 DSE days per hectare per 100mm rain to over 100
  • Diversifying production for income stability, including beef cattle trading and tourism


Stud Bulls (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 2005

  • Cost of production reduced by 30-35%
  • Overall production increased by 10%
  • 2011 weight gain for bulls and heifers up 20% on earlier averages
  • Carrying capacity increased
  • Significant weed infestation overcome


Beef Cattle (NT)
Innovations commenced: 2002

  • Significantly increased access to pasture for cattle, with a corresponding increase in carrying capacity
  • Developed a potential model for sustainable grazing in Australia’s Top End


Beef Cattle (WA)
Innovations commenced: 2004

  • De-stocking to prevent further degradation of the natural resource base as a pre-cursor to landscape regeneration and re-stocking
  • Working with lease-holding mining companies to revegetate the landscape


Dairy Cattle rearing (SA)
Innovations commenced: 1995

  • Stock output increased by 33%, using 25% less irrigation water per animal weight produced
  • Rearing 600-700 dairy heifers cows off 100ha per annum
  • Reduced irrigation to 5ML annually compared with region average of 8ML


Beef Cattle, Cottage Industries (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 1994

  • Productivity increased from 1.73 ha to 1.13 ha required to support one cow
  • Weight produced per DSE 50% above regional average
  • Diversification into complementary product lines to maintain cash flow
  • Independent benchmarking showed total profit per hectare 14 times above the regional average


Beef Cattle, Sheep, Goats (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 1995

  • Consistent profit increase despite lower rainfall
  • Labour requirements reduced by approximately 40%
  • Twin lambing rates improved by 20%
  • Stock class more consistent
  • Goats introduced for weed control, now also providing additional income stream


Sheep, Beef Cattle (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 1990

  • Carrying capacity increased from average of 8,000 to 20,000 DSE
  • Increased production maintained through periods of drought
  • Wool staple strength increased from average 40 N/Ktx (newtons per kilotext) to 48 N/Ktx
  • Wool fibre diameter improved from 17.5 to 16 micron
  • Merino lambing increased from 80% to 90%
  • Calving rate increased from 80% to 90%
  • Permanent labour requirements reduced from one person per 5,000 DSE to one person per 12,000 DSE


Beef Cattle, Sheep (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 2002

  • Stock trading model introduced to match stocking rate with seasonal conditions
  • Reduced input costs
  • Expected 15%-23% profit on cattle production through breeding and trading programs


Sheep, Beef Cattle, Native Trees (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 1980

  • Markedly increased availability of productive land through salinity management
  • Established as specialist provider of ultrafine sharlea wethers
  • Revegetation provides timber for potential farm forestry
  • Beef cattle a complementary product line


Crops, Sheep, Native Grass Seed, Kelpie Dogs (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 1993

  • Crop production maintained with annual input costs decreased by $120,000 including no herbicide and 70% less fertiliser
  • Concurrent enterprises (‘vertical stacking’) of grain, sheep wool and meat, native grass seed
  • Wool tensile strength improved by 60%
  • Vegetable matter in wool reduced by approximately 70%


Crops, Sheep, Compost (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 2001

  • Increased crop yields and improved crop quality with less fertilisers (canola up to 3t/ha and 47% oil; wheat 5-6t/ha)
  • Increased carrying capacity
  • Lambing percentages 150% in cross bred ewes, 120% in Merino ewes
  • Wool staple strength not less than 36N/Ktx
  • Complementary business with client base of over 2000


Crops, Beef Cattle, Compost (NSW)
Innovations commenced: 2000

  • Increased crop bushel weight
  • Even yields across the property
  • Reduced disease
  • Reduced input costs (chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides)
  • Complementary production lines in agistment and compost sales


Crops, Sheep (VIC)
Innovations commenced: 1996

  • Increased cropping capacity through raising beds ($200/ha) at a fraction of the cost for installing sub-surface drains ($1000/ha)
  • Crop production sustained with reduced inputs
  • Increased sheep weight gain


Crops, Sheep (WA)
Innovations commenced: 1994

  • Continuing production trend to higher yields and higher quality cereal grains and hay on growing season rainfall as low as 100mm
  • High quality 17-20 micron wool from sheep adapted to local environment
  • Premium grade fat lambs at a lambing rate of better than 115%


Dairy Cattle (VIC)
Innovations commenced: 1996

  • Organic dairy produce delivering a 10% premium
  • Veterinary costs substantially reduced
  • Irrigation reduced by 30%
  • No ongoing external input costs

Sustainable production outcomes can be an indicator of the health of the natural biosystem. By adopting regenerative landscape management practices the case studies showed that a short-term trade-off in terms of production, yields or returns may be experienced, but long-term productivity and resilience can be achieved by investing in natural capital and a healthy natural system.