Better Pastures, Better Crops – Management Of Pastures In A Mixed Farming System

GRDC - Tim Condon (Delta Agribusiness)

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: "A pasture phase can deliver substantial and lasting nutritional benefits well into the subsequent cropping phase, as well as providing the opportunity to drive weed seed banks to very low levels. To achieve these outcomes, the pasture must be dense, productive and persistent. The pasture phase is the ideal opportunity to address soil constraints that are limiting production and rebuild soil N and organic C levels. A rigorous process of soil testing, identifying all the issues then addressing them with the appropriate addition of required nutrients and/or ameliorants is just as important as the selection of the most appropriate pasture species, variety, seeding rate and establishment technique." Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

The take home messages from this GRDC funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.

Take home messages from the paper include:

  • A pasture phase rebuilds organic carbon (C) and soil nitrogen (N) reserves.
  • A pasture phase provides opportunities to reduce the weed seed bank prior to cropping.
  • To achieve these benefits, the pasture must be dense, productive and persistent.
  • Soil test – ensure that all nutrition issues are addressed at establishment and across the entire pasture phase, in particular phosphorus (P), sulphur (S) and molybdenum (Mo).
  • pH stratification and subsoil acidity have the potential to severely compromise pasture production.
  • Pasture legumes must have effective rhizobia nodules to fix N effectively.
  • Winter cleaning within the pasture phase is a highly effective practice for weed control and lasting crop rotational benefits in terms of N and cereal root diseases.
  • Match pasture type to desired outcome and utilisation potential.

2017 - Australia - GRDC - Tim Condon (Delta Agribusiness)
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