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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Cadiz, Eliza, Margurita and Erica have different characteristics allowing them to be used in different agricultural systems.

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