Does grazing winter crops reduce grain yield?

Kondinin Group - DAFWA

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Research reveals that grazing winter crops has little or no impact on grain yield and quality.

What was the problem?

Research aimed to determine the impact of grazing crops in winters and the effect on grain yield and quality. The research also hoped to challenge the following misconceptions:

  • Putting stock in crops will result in a yield penalty
  • Must use dual-purpose crop varieties when grazing crops

What did the research involve?

  • Seven on-farm trial sites were established across the Western Australian wheatbelt from Binnu to Esperance.
  • Temporary electric fencing was used to divide each paddock between grazed and ungrazed

What were the key findings?

Grazing days as measured by DSE grazing days per hectare ranged from 157–509

Yields of grazed and un-grazed areas did not differ markedly being within 5 per cent at all locations except for Binnu and Neridup, where yield was 12–15 per cent less in the grazed area.

Final comment

Grazing crops can add to productivity of mixed farming systems without compromising crop yield.

2016 - Australia - Kondinin Group - DAFWA
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