Pasture management

Good pasture management should be both proactive (maintaining soil fertility) and reactive (managing pests, weeds and seeds when they are affecting productivity).

It should aim to maximise the productivity and persistence of the pasture and avoid or delay pasture rundown.

Considerations in pasture management include:

Fertiliser management

Soil fertility is influenced by many factors including soil structure and the level of off-take, in the form of produce or livestock, compared to nutrient input through fertilisers and legumes.

Established pastures should be monitored to assess the need to address a developing soil nutrient issue. Soil nutrient issues may be identified through visual assessment, plant tissue tests and soil tests.

Fertilisers come in many forms ranging from simple formulations designed to meet pasture requirements. Which fertiliser is best suited to a particular situation requires local knowledge and it is often advisable to seek professional assistance through a FertCare accredited agronomist or consultant to develop a fertiliser management plan to suit a particular enterprise.

Pest and disease control

Pests and diseases can severely impact pastures and contribute to pasture rundown.

Pastures should be inspected regularly for pests as well as disease and deficiencies. A combination of biological, cultural and chemical control measures to control pests are considered the most effective and sustainable approach to addressing pest problems.

Soils

Soil management is an important part of pasture management. Pastures and 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 needs to understand the soils within their production system and develop a soil management and grazing plan to accommodate the environmental and enterprise requirements.

More information

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