Background

The Knowing Our Native Pastures project, was undertaken in the Mid North of SA through the National Landcare Programme. It aimed to provide farmers with a greater understanding of their native pastures and how to most effectively manage them for long-term sustainable utilisation. 

Through a range of extension activities, information and skills were provided to producers to support improved grazing management. Information included native pasture identification; ideal grazing periods and frequency; ground cover limits; assessing pasture availability and nutritional value.

 

"Managing native pastures for positive environmental outcomes aligns with positive production outcomes as well."

Activities

This project provided key native pasture management information to producers via two workshops and a written publication.

Workshop 1 [Completed - 28 September 2015]

A full day workshop was held at Greenwood Park (nr Auburn, SA) that provided farmers with increased knowledge on best practice grazing management of native pastures, improved grazing management strategies as well as techniques to increase the productivity of their livestock and pastures. The day included practical sessions on pasture assessment, grazing management, weed control, pasture nutritional quality and livestock management.

 

Workshop 2 [Completed - 26 September 2016]

KONP2.jpg

 A half-day workshop provided practical skills for farmers through a mix of presentations and practical paddock based sessions to provide participants with skills in measuring ground cover and pasture quantity (kg DM/ha), assessing pasture quality, assessing pasture health, managing grazing pressure; calculating grazing days and stocking rate (feed budgets).

 

Publication

An important aspect of grazing management is understanding the nutritional value of native pasture and how this relates to animal demand. Pasture samples from four different properties across the Mid North were collected at quarterly intervals. These samples were analysed by an accredited laboratory for nutritional value. These results with information relating to how the nutritional value of native pastures can be used to make decisions on farm is published in the document below. Additionally the pasture results are shown in the tables below.

 
 

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Pasture testing

The four pasture sampling sites are detailed below, identified by their region.

 

Nutritive value results for native pasture across each site and sampling period. 

Mineral content results for native pasture across each site and sampling period.

  August 2015 pasture sampling at Hill River

August 2015 pasture sampling at Hill River

 November 2015 pasture sampling at Hill River

November 2015 pasture sampling at Hill River

This project is supported by Hamish Dickson of AgriPartner Consulting, through funding provided by the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme.