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

  • The whole farm nutrient mapping procedure described here applies to pastures in the greater than 600mm rainfall zone of south-west Western Australia.

  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is planning for the future of irrigated agriculture development in the Pilbara

  • 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.

  • Estimating or measuring soil texture provides valuable information about soil properties affecting crop and pasture growth. Soil texture affects the movement and availability of air, nutrients and

  • Three-quarters of high rainfall (more than 600mm annual rainfall) clover pastures in Western Australia do not need additional phosphorus for optimal plant growth.

  • In the high rainfall south-west of Western Australia, especially on sandy soils, the most commonly used nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers can be leached into the groundwater and washed into water

  • Tissue testing can identify plant nutrient deficiencies that affect plant health.

  • Potassium deficiency can lead to loss of clover content and severely limit production of high rainfall.

  • Micronutrient deficiencies can result from removal of agricultural products over many years, changes in soil acidity, or from large increases in plant biomass as a result of added nitrogen fertilis

  • Liming to recover an acidic soil to an appropriate pH can result in significant production benefits, however a response to liming indicates that previous production has been lost due to an acidic t

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