Grazing management is the total process of organising livestock to make the best use of the pastures grown or managing the frequency and intensity that livestock graze pasture.
Pastures respond differently to grazing, and by understanding the growth characteristics of a pasture species, grazing can be used to encourage plant growth and maintain productivity.
Grazing management is also an important factor in the management of soil, water and nutrients. If not managed well, grazing can lead to severe natural resource degradation.
Some pastures may naturally become less productive as they mature or at different stages of their production cycle. It is important to recognise this and adjust stocking rates accordingly. Overstocking at critical stages may result in irreversible damage to pastures, which may in turn need to be resown.
Grazing management considers:
Grazing should be managed to promote ground cover and good root growth, both of which are important to soil fertility and protecting the soil. To do this, a producer must understand the soils within their production system and develop a soil management and grazing plan to accommodate the environmental and enterprise requirements.