Pastures

Pastures play a major role in agricultural enterprises and contribute over $3 billion annually in Western Australia through animal production, improvements to crop rotations and conserved fodder. In a typical year pastures occupy up to half the land in low to medium rainfall areas and over two thirds of the land in high rainfall areas. Improved pastures are increasingly being used to play a more comprehensive role in farming systems to address emerging challenges for environment protection and food production.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is a world leader in pasture breeding and selection, grazing systems design and agronomic management of pastures. The department provides information, tools and resources to support the success of the agriculture sector in improving the productivity and profitability of pasture systems under both dryland and irrigated conditions. 

Articles

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

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

  • Grass seeds may cause a number of serious production and health problems in sheep, including eye damage. Wool affected by grass seed has reduced demand value.

  • The productivity of sheep is largely governed by the amount of pasture they eat and this is influenced by the quantity of the pasture on offer and its quality.

  • Grazing management in winter and spring can be used to manipulate the quality and quantity of pasture as well as composition, increase animal production efficiency and achieve production targets, r

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

  • 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.

  • Established in 2003, EverGraze was designed to develop, test and implement new farming systems based on perennials in a range of environments across the high rainfall zone of southern Australia.