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Running a sustainable grazing business

Running a grazing business can be both rewarding and profitable.  

It is possible to increase profitability, improve the efficiency and environmental performance of your property and achieve greater satisfaction from your involvement in the grazing industries.

Generalised management ’recipes’ are not possible - or desirable - for all circumstances, but key underlying principles and critical management factors form the basis of a productive and sustainable system.

What makes a sustainable grazing business?

A sustainable grazing system is a process of continuous improvement that balances the following six general requirements and prioritises them for a particular farm situation:

  1. Increase productivity and profit from the grazing system
  2. Increase water use efficiency in the grazing system
  3. Protect the on-farm natural resources
  4. Create more opportunities for biodiversity
  5. Reduce off-site impacts from the grazing system
  6. Improve producer satisfaction, motivation and capacity to implement change 

Financial, social and environmental issues are all important in achieving a sustainable grazing business, but you have to work out the appropriate balance for your property. 

Triple bottom line

Profit is often considered the most common measure of the short-term health of a grazing business, but social and environmental factors underpin the ability to make a long-term, future profit - this is the Triple Bottom Line. To be sustainable, all three elements must be in balance.


Available tools

FarmGAS Scenario Tool

This tool from the Australian Farm Institute (AFI) is for farmers and advisors to investigate how different management practices might alter their greenhouse gas emissions profile.


AFI has developed a wide range of decision support tools to support participation in carbon farming activities.

Manuals and guides

Find out more about sustainable grazing systems in:

From the paddock

Read, and watch, about other producers who are building sustainable grazing businesses,

I want to...

Benchmark my current enterprise

Establish my business goals and objectives

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