Mixed (crop-livestock) farming is the largest single segment in Australian agriculture, yet livestock management platforms haven’t been ‘joined at the hip’ with platforms managing crops and pastures...until now.

Opterra enables the farmer, agronomist and livestock specialist to work on the same digital platform for the whole production cycle from pre-season planning, through in-season management to the measure / improve stage; utilising the key steps outlined below. This is based on the PDMI; plan, do, measure, improve process. Opterra integrates these expert resources alongside the essential elements of soil, water, plant and animal, combining this key information in real-time. Providing the opportunity to optimise the agricultural system for both profitability, as well as care of the animal and natural resources

Feed Budgeting: At the core of the Opterra platform is a patented crop and livestock planning and feed budgeting tool that enables sheep/cattle energy requirements to be underpinned by agronomic feed-base planning.

Grazing Management Diagram

Feedback from the ‘best in the game’ indicates that the benefits of integration for both animal performance and crop/pasture productivity is substantial. Matching the energy requirements of ruminant livestock (cattle & sheep) with paddock-produced or supplementary feed is a fundamental tool for mixed farming – the basis not only for optimal production but also for drought management. Opterra is a unique tool integrating livestock demand, paddock production and supplementary feed.

We learned about the difference good grazing management across summer and autumn can mean to livestock performance in both breeding and trade-sale operations and set about building a framework that clearly defines feed deficits and ration planning across the entire season.


Back Paddock has defined and lead crop planning in Australia over the last two decades. Industry-level benchmarking since the early 1990’s, measuring the traits of the most successful farmers has shown consistently that their top trait is ‘Excellence in Planning'. (Source: PlanFarm Bankwest Benchmarks 2018).

Back Paddock's clients, are Australia’s top agricultural consultants who provide planning for the most successful farmers have asked Back Paddock to do the same for Livestock....welcome Opterra Livestock!

In a single application:

Opterra provides a breakthrough in terms of in-season management and recording on-farm. One single mobile application for both Crop & Livestock; Simple, Fast & Easy.

An App that enables communication of Tasks and Operations as well as recording Inputs for both Cropping and Livestock.


To integrate soil, water, plant and animal information in one place in Opterra, Back Paddock has partnered with other information suppliers such as soil and feed testing labs, weather station providers and a range of precision agriculture specialists with ‘per square metre’ and ‘per animal’ data. This means measures of plant growth such as NDVI from satellite can be combined with animal liveweight data in one platform that can be accessed by farmers, agronomists and livestock specialists in real-time. The aim is to better understand the drivers for financial sustainability and care of the soil-water-plant-animal system, then optimise them.

Opterra brings a new technology platform to the market supported by an international software development team, utilising the latest technology in mapping, cloud systems, mobile devices and synchronisation to improve connectivity.

We are very excited to introduce you to Opterra Livestock! We look forward to working with you to lift financial performance and improve drought management, animal and soil care in Australian mixed farming.

Opterra Key Components

Plan Manage In-Season (Do) Measure/Benchmarking
Feed (Energy) Budget
  • Balance Crop/Mob structure
Create Recommendations
  • Animal Health & Supplements
  • Seeding, Crop Sprays, Fertiliser
  • Operations
Production Efficiency (WUE,NUE, FCE)
  • Kg Grain, Grazing Days/100 mm H2O
  • x plant species x mob x paddock
  • kg liveweight / kg DM
Risk Management
  • Yield & Price $ GM sensitivity
  • Drought Reserves Plan
Assign Tasks/Operations $ Costs vs Plan

$ Gross Margin vs Plan
Inputs & Operations Plan
  • Details x Mobs
  • Details x Paddocks
Record Actuals (Single App)
  • Liveweight, grain, wool yields
  • Animal Health & Supplements
  • Seeding, Crop Sprays, Fertiliser
  • Operations
Compliance Reporting
  • LPA
  • Biosecurity
$ Budget / Cash Flow Grazing Management
  • Estimate Dry Matter
  • Move/adjust Mobs
  • Forage Reserves (Hay & Grain)
  • Soil test status
  • Plant Tissue / Feed Quality Test

Individual components of the platform can be also be used ‘stand-alone’, for example a simple recording App on iPhone for crops and livestock.

Feed Budgeting

Easy feed budgeting in Opterra creates the opportunity for agronomic planning to drive livestock productivity, as shown in this diagram.

Available DM Monthly Paddock Available

Agronomists and farmers have the ability through variation of pasture/crop species, fertiliser programs, irrigation and other operational management methods to dramatically improve the quality and quantity of livestock feed for grazing. Albeit as this has not been matched to livestock income generation and costs (due to separate software applications and lack of training), in the majority of cases this aspect of whole farm planning is ad hoc. In other words, there is no systematic basis to ensure that grazed livestock are fed in line with full production potential.

Easy feed budgeting integrated at the start of whole farm planning

  • Opterra enables the user to readily determine livestock mob energy requirement for different stock classes and production targets for liveweight and sale date.

  • Agronomists run scenarios of dry matter production from various pasture and grazing crop species to match these mob requirements. These dry matter production scenarios are run under three rainfall deciles for their region based on pre-loaded growth curves for key pasture species and grazing crops for regions throughout Australia.

  • Quarterly supplementary feed requirements are determined (or surplus feed for hay/silage potential).

Being twelve-month plan it can help identify:

  1. Timing and size of potential feed gaps.

  2. Sensitivity of seasonal feed gaps factors such as grazing management strategies and seasonal.

  3. Quantity of supplementary feed required monthly to meet feed gap.

  4. Strategies for grain and graze crops to support livestock enterprise.

  5. Estimated dates for target weight of stock sales and joining weight;

The underlying data and calculations are based on industry-standard values, whilst enabling customisable values for users to refine parameters and store to reflect their local conditions and experiences.

Inputs and Operations Planning

The Opterra platform enables ready creation of detailed inputs, operating plans and budgets for crop, pastures and livestock

This is fast detailed planning, by mob and paddock, on a single platform that enables the agronomist’s knowledge on pasture/crop productivity and the livestock specialist’s expertise to be incorporated into your operational plans.

The Opterra MDB (Master Database) is pre-loaded with animal health and veterinary products (from APVMA registrations), ruminant supplement products, seeds, fertilisers, crop protection products (APVMA), pest species and operations, to substantially reduce the time required in data input. Each plan can be saved as a ‘Scenario’ that can be edited and re-used for fast, customised planning by advisers across multiple clients.

Livestock Monthly Input Summary

Importantly, these plans are the basis for efficient and timely operations, co-ordinated across cropping and livestock enterprises. They are also the basis of fast, easy and accurate records of farm inputs and operations for both cropping and livestock. Opterra enables ‘excellence in planning’ for Livestock/Mixed Farming.

These Plans are also the basis of fast, easy and accurate Records of farm inputs and operations for both cropping and livestock.

Opterra enables ‘excellence in planning’ for Livestock/Mixed Farming.

Risk & Drought Planning

Enterprise Economics and Risk Management Analysis:

The integrated plans include income and associated costs for both inputs and operations that in turn are incorporated into budgets and cashflow plans.

The program allows you to gain a clear understanding of the realistic costs for livestock feed based on planned pasture costs and feed costs in ‘Grain N Graze’ situations. This helps in designing the appropriate management programs.

The platform enables the user to gain a clear understanding of the realistic costs for livestock feed based on planned pasture costs and feed costs in Grain-N-Graze situations, which greatly assists designing the appropriate management programs. Risk analysis is further progressed using a sensitivity-grid to assess production and price variability; for different levels of production (tonnes/ha, kg/animal) and income variation ($/tonne grain, $/kg liveweight).

Planning can look forward across multiple years.

Drought Management Planning

Opterra provides a major breakthrough in drought management planning. The calculated energy balance between livestock mob requirements and paddock feed availability provides an estimate of supplementary feed requirements, or conversely feed available for fodder reserves across different rainfall deciles. Further, this planning can also be run across multiple years to estimate longer-term scenarios in terms of drought / fodder conservation plans.

Feed Deficit Report

Feed Inventory: As hay is stored and consumed by livestock, Opterra will track Feed Inventory level. This provides a very important planning tool.

Grazing & Recording

Opterra provides a single application to enable the communication of tasks and operations across both cropping and livestock, to better capture the recording of plan to actuals.

Grazing Management:

Feed budget information transfers to the Opterra mobile application and forms the basis for more accurate grazing management. The Opterra application is map-based and captures all livestock, crop and pasture information from the pre-season plans created by farmer, agronomist and livestock specialist.

Recording mob changes and movements in and out of a paddock enables grazing performance of different paddocks, enabling pasture/crop species to be measured and performance assessed.

Recording Mob Movements on Map Interface


Livestock and agronomic advisers can generate detailed plans and recommendations in Opterra. This information is then available to farmers via the Opterra mobile application as the basis for easy, fast and accurate recording of actual treatments as well as operational costs for livestock mobs, crops and pastures. The recording of treatments to crops and pastures (eg chemical sprays from agronomist’s Rec’s) in the same application that records grazing of livestock in those paddocks is critical in ensuring that accurate information is provided into supply chains. This also enables true costs of production to be available real-time.

The recording of Actual treatments to crops and pastures (eg chemical sprays from agronomist’s Rec’s) in the same application that records grazing of livestock in those paddocks is critical in ensuring that accurate information is provided into supply chains.

This also enables true costs of production to be available ‘real time’.

Paddock Book Recommendations view


Productivity of Crop/Pasture and Livestock:

Opterra helps in measuring the grazing performance of a particular paddock, plant species grazed or other management practice (eg fertiliser use) hence the relationship between liveweight gain and particular plant or cropping species, or management.

Pasture Species Performance Analysis

Opterra enables more accurate allocation of costs to livestock mobs based on grazing days in a paddock, as recorded in the system. This is only possible in the Opterra platform because of the combination of cropping and livestock in a single platform.

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Opterra Livestock?

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Or simply send us a message to request more information.

  • Unit 1 / 13-15 Steel St Capalaba, QLD 4157

  • (07) 3220-2959

  • info@backpaddock.com.au