Growing profit from the ground up

Grazing management

Grazing management is the key to pasture and livestock productivity, profitability and persistence.

During the coming months the Pasture improvement Initiative will be collating the most up-to-date information on grazing management, highlighting key grazing management principles and providing links to useful resources on this page.

In the meantime, check out the following resources and websites to ensure you are employing the most suitable grazing strategies to achieve your enterprise goals.

Smartphone applications and management tools

Lifetime Ewe Management (RIST/AWI)

The Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) Application is a digital extension of the Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM) course, which educates producers on the best management practices for ewe management. LTEM assists sheep producers proactively manage the nutrition of their ewe flock through the reproduction cycle. Essential skills to utilise this application include condition scoring of animals and accurate Feed On Offer assessments. The LTEM Application is best suited to sheep producers who have completed LTEM and have an understanding of ewe requirements. The LTEM Application is not a substitute but an addition to the LTEM course offered by Rural Industries Skills Training and funded through Australian Wool Innovation.

Feed On Offer Library (AWI)
The Feed On Offer (FOO) library allows users to estimate FOO and nutritive value of grazed pastures. Animal performance is determined by the quality and quantity of pasture available and when known, better decisions can be made on allocation of stock to paddocks or supplementary feeding.

Feed Budget Rotation Planner (EverGraze)

The EverGraze Feed Budget and Rotation Planner is an excel-based tool for simple feed budgets, planning rotational grazing, determining appropriate stocking rates, calculating pasture growth rates, determining how long a paddock can be grazed for and calculating the most economical ration for stock. The calculator includes a monthly stocking rate calculator and a paddock grazing days recorder.

The Nuts and Bolts of Grazing Management (EverGraze)

The EverGraze Nuts and Bolts of Grazing Management Exchange package of information provides the principles, with evidence from research, for optimising pasture growth, utilisation, environmental management and livestock performance from pastures. Tools and processes are provided to guide planning and monitoring and apply the principles to achieve the best outcomes for the given farm system.

Feed Budget Tables (Lifetimewool)

These tools provide a simple method for determining ewe feed requirements and intake from pastures. They are developed for each time of year and can be accessed from the links below.

Feed budgeting in the dry and droughts — annual and mixed perennial pastures
Feed budgeting at the break of season — annual clover based pastures
Feed budgeting in the green — mixed pastures south-eastern Australia
Feed budgeting for pastures in NSW — using herbage mass as a base

Websites:

EverGraze

EverGraze was a national research, development and extension project that designed, tested and implemented farming systems based on perennials to increase profitability of livestock enterprises and at the same time reduce ground water recharge and soil loss by water and wind in the high rainfall zone of southern Australia.

A wide range of resources covering pasture management principles is freely available on the EverGraze website.

Grazing and pasture management (MLA)

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) invests up to $5 million a year in grazing and pasture management research and development projects, supporting production in southern and northern Australia. The MLA website contains a broad range of information, tools, publications and fact sheets, and farmer case studies to support decision making and best practice grazing management.

Farm300 (MLA, AFI, AWI and DA)

The Farm300 program was developed by MLA to help cattle and sheep producers increase on-farm productivity and profitability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The extension program ran from June 2013 to May 2015 and was funded by the Australian Government. It was managed by MLA in partnership with the Australian Farm Institute, Australian Wool Innovation and Dairy Australia.

The progress of six Farm300 participants was tracked in a video series, which can be viewed by clicking on the My Farm300 journey video links on the Farm300 website.

A number of resources were developed to support Farm300 participants and other livestock producers interested in boosting productivity while reducing GHG emissions, including the Feed Demand Calculator video tutorials.  These four video tutorials explain what the Feed Demand Calculator is, how to use it, and how it can be used in your business.

 

Publications and factsheets

Tips & Tools (MLA)

MLA’s Tips & Tools are practical, easy to follow information sheets designed to deliver the outcomes of on-farm R&D for livestock producers.

Tactical grazing to maximise pasture and animal productivity
Tactical grazing is a flexible approach to grazing management and uses a range of ‘grazing methods’ throughout the year. This factsheet provides information on how tactical grazing tools can improve pasture and animal productivity.

Grazing management for mixed perennial-based pastures
A perennial based pasture usually contains a mixture of desirable and less desirable species. Achieving a balance through grazing management is vital to pasture productivity and sustainability.

Grazing management for productive native pastures
Native grasses produce significant quantities of wool and meat in the temperate high rainfall zones of Australia. With careful grazing management, they can be persistent and provide a valuable feed supply.

Articles:

Better grazing management within easy reach

Consultant Basil Doonan, Macquarie Franklin provides a brief overview of how to get the most out of your pastures through strategic grazing management.

Click here to read Basil’s story