Impacts of grazing management on hill country pastures: principles and practices

Authors

  • Mcg King
  • G.M. Rennie
  • B. Devantier
  • C.J. Hoogendoorn

Abstract

Management of the balance of animal demand and feed supply is the result of a complex set of decisions. These decisions interact and are also variably affected by external drivers, including environmental. In particular, both pasture quantity and quality can be optimised by using appropriate grazing management, including stocking rate, livestock class, etc. In essence: apply sufficient grazing pressure at the appropriate time to maintain pasture covers at a level where the development of grass inflorescences is limited and pasture quality is maximised. The optimal grazing management strategy, however, may be different for each paddock and will change through the season. At a whole-farm scale, grazing management will be a set of trade-offs. Understanding the underlying ecological principles that drive the outcome of these grazing management decisions on pasture performance will have the greatest potential to drive the profitability and sustainability of hill country farms. Keywords: Grazing management, pasture performance, pasture quality, hill country

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Published

2016-01-01

Issue

Section

Past volumes