Ballan Farmer Discussion Group explores new grazing techniques

1 November 2017

On Saturday 28th October, the Ballan Farmer Discussion Group met to discuss the use of pasture squares to assess the impact of grazing on pasture composition, biomass and cover.

Participants learnt of the importance of cover to protect soil from erosion and weed invasion. They were also introduced to the technique known as pasture square assessment and each participant practiced the method.

Assessments showed that the pasture had good coverage, but was low in biomass. Only about 250–300kg of dry matter per hectare was estimated. An aim for sustainable pasture management would be closer to 1500kg dry matter per hectare.

The composition of clover was between 30-40 per cent, which is very high giving (stock a boost of protein), but suggests a greater proportion of perennial grass species should be encouraged to ensure good pasture throughout the drier months when annuals will decline.

Diversity of pasture species and maintenance of pasture biomass throughout the year are important principles for sustainable grazing management.

The Ballan Farmer discussion group is scheduled to meet again in March 2018.

To find out more contact Anthony Dufty on 03 9971 6506 or anthony.dufty@ppwcma.vic.gov.au

Property owner, Simon Lidgett, assessing the amount of clover to grass in the pasture.

 


The project is supported by the PPWCMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program