Farm Table says:
This useful guide is for producers to be able to self-assess their enterprise for the purpose of grazing land management. It covers a lot of information so even the most experienced producers should be able to gain some tips to assist in their own enterprise.
Items covered in this article were:
- Maps and property information
- Land capability and condition
- Managing the land resource
- Managing grazing pressure
- Improved pastures and forage crops
- Weeds and pest animals
Key points were as follows:
- Maps are a very handy tool to use in grazing management; they assist in many aspects including planning building infrastructure, weed management, paddock and land types, lot and plan numbers and feral animal management. The self-assessment checklist for maps and property information can be found on page 5.
- Land capability and condition is the understanding that producers have of the land they are managing, it includes soil types, grass varieties, ground cover, soil condition, weed knowledge and carrying capacity. The self-assessment checklist for land capability and condition can be found on page 11 – 12.
- Managing the land resource is a key factor in managing a grazing enterprise, it includes the management of fence lines, watering points, water sources, roads, fire breaks, soil erosion and wetlands. The self-assessment checklist for managing the land resource can be found on page 16 – 19.
- Managing grazing pressure is vital in ensuring a sustainable enterprise long term; it entails the understanding of pasture growth, setting stocking rates, adjusting stocking rates and managing even grazing management. The self-assessment checklist for managing grazing pressure can be found on page 24 – 25.
- Improved pastures and forage crops provides producers with the opportunity for additional feed sources throughout the year when other sources of feed are low. It includes improved pasture development, managing improved pastures, sown pasture rundown and using forage crops. The self-assessment checklist for improved pastures and forage crops can be found on page 27 – 29.
- Weeds need to be identified and minimised on properties to reduce their impact. It’s important that weed control measures are put in place to stop the spreading of weeds and steps are taken to avoid the spread of weeds. Its similar with pest animals, property owners and neighbours need to work together in the control of pest animals to ensure the health and welfare of livestock is maintained especially with calving and lambing. The self-assessment checklist for weeds and pest animals can be found on page 32 – 33.