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.

  • 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.

  • Feed intake and methane emissions are influenced by the digestibility of the pasture and the concentration of plant secondary compounds such as tannins.

  • Pastures that reduce methane emissions can be categorised into high quality grasses and legumes, and plants containing secondary metabolites such as tannins.

  • 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

  • Management of weeds, disease and nitrogen nutrition are ongoing challenges that limit yield potential.

  • The Greener Pastures project was set up to assist the Australian dairy industry meet the two major challenges in managing high performing pasture systems: maintaining profitability while meeting th

  • IrrigateWA is an irrigation app that will assist with the implementation of correct irrigation scheduling for a variety of crops, regions and soil types in Western Australia.

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