Pasture management

The long term productivity and quality of pastures relies on good management skills. A well managed enterprise will maximise the economic viability of grazing systems through increased production of livestock. In cropping systems, shifting pastures towards legume dominance is also important. To successfully grow annual and perennial pastures, it is important to consider the influence of factors such as soil, climate, pests and grazing on each particular species.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development provides information and advice to assist farmers to make appropriate decisions about weed management, fertiliser application, grazing systems, pest and disease management, seed production and seed harvesting. Meeting each species’ requirements is essential in order to realise the potential benefits from improved pastures.

Articles

  • Saline lands in Western Australia (WA) often suffer winter waterlogging, with the levels of salinity and depth to watertable varying markedly both spatially and between seasons.

  • Applying nitrogen fertiliser to pasture in winter can increase dry matter production of grasses and broadleaf weeds and help reduce feed shortages in winter.

  • Spray-topping is a very effective method for managing annual grass seed set in pastures.

  • Signal grass is a warm season (C4) sub-tropical grass but it is not recommended for sowing either alone or as a component of species mixtures in Western Australia due to a high risk of causing seco

  • Setaria is a a palatable bunch grass with moderate drought tolerance.

  • Perennial pastures have transformed large areas of the agricultural area in south-western Australia.

  • Grazing annual pastures in autumn can potentially lead to a significant reduction in pasture seedling density, especially within the first 12 days after the break of season.

  • In Western Australia, competition from 7-90 capeweed plants per square metre in a wheat crop can reduce crop yield by 28-44% and net return by 25-76%.

  • Growing global demand for Australian beef products, driven primarily by Asian countries, presents opportunities to expand livestock production and value add in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of

  • Most unplanned fires have a drastic effect on a pasture. Fire changes the plant composition and reduces growth and carrying capacity in the following season.

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