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

  • These maps are generated from Pastures from Space to estimate pasture feed on offer (FOO) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare, and plant (pasture and crop) growth rates (PGR) as kilograms of dry

  • 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%.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Deferred grazing is a tactic where stock are excluded from pasture areas to maximise germination and establishment of annual pasture seedlings.

  • Pasture manipulation is the application of herbicides for grass control early in the growing season (autumn or early winter).

    It is often the preferred option for grass control.

  • Dry pastures in Western Australia provide good early feed after senescence but rapidly become unable to maintain stock.

  • Irrigating with water of higher salinity than a crop can tolerate results in yield loss and decreased quality.

  • Cultivars of French serradella (Eliza, Cadiz, Erica and Margurita) and yellow serradella (Charano, Santorini and Yelbini) have been developed with the aim of reducing the cost of seed production.

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