Growing profit from the ground up

Pasture Improvement Initiative

Species selection supports enterprise diversity

Case study: Richard and Emily Gardner
Location: Tunbridge, Tasmania
Property size: 2600ha
Average annual rainfall: 465mm
Soils: Highly variable shallow duplex soils — sands to heavy clays
Enterprises: Mixed farming system — 750 cow dairy, sheep, irrigated and dryland pastures and cropping (poppies, grazing winter cereals)

Richard and Emily Gardner have selected pastures species for their adaptability to the climate, landscape and ability to provide productivity and persistence in their diverse range of enterprises.

Key messages

  • Diverse enterprises including livestock, dryland and irrigated cropping (including poppies) give greater flexibility and less exposure to risk.
  • Choosing pasture species has required balancing seasonal productivity, feed quality and persistence under both irrigated and dryland conditions.
  • Winter-active lucerne offers a persistent and productive option for prime lamb production, hay and silage production and a five-year rotation leading into a two-year poppy phase.

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