Sustainable Grazing in the Channel Country Floodplains was initiated by industry to help improve sustainable grazing management of the floodplains of Cooper Creek and of the Diamantina and Georgina Rivers. Research to measure and model rainfall, flooding, soil moisture and pasture growth was conducted over 7 years at 17 sites located across the major floodplain country types of the Cooper, Diamantina and Georgina. These on-property sites were located on 13 Channel Country properties, with direct and in-kind support from pastoral companies and private land holders. The data collected has been integrated into tables of likely pasture growth, based on flood type and country type. Flood type and postflood pasture growth conditions are therefore critical in determining the numbers of cattle that can be stocked initially, and how many can be carried to achieve desired liveweight gains.
A flooding rules of thumb guide has been produced for the Cooper and Diamantina to allow managers to better anticipate whether a Good, Handy, Gutter or Channel flood will result from upper catchment rains, and the likely pasture growth that will result. A guide to forage value has also been produced which will assist in matching cattle numbers with available feed, and help achieve production goals while minimising risk of any deterioration of the natural resource base.