Offered Papers Theme C: Delivering the Benefits from Grassland

Description

The Western Australian (WA) environment is Mediterranean with annual legume/grass pastures and a 6 month growing season. In autumn where over grazing can impact pasture establishment and in spring, prior to senescence, when under grazing can mean significant losses of efficiency are crucial times for grazing management. Pasture utilisation is typically low (25-35%) due to conservative stocking regimes; key to increasing productivity is increasing pasture utilisation (Grimm, 1998). Increased level of productivity require farmer sophistication in the way they feed budget. To this end, satellite technology is being used to provide farmers in southern Australia with weekly estimates of pasture growth rate (PGR; kg DM/ha/d) and monthly estimates of Feed on Offer (FOO; kg DM/ha) (Kelly et al. 2003). In addition the Green Feed Budget Paddock Calculator (GFBC) was developed to provide a simple and accessible electronic calculator which utilises this new information to assist farmers to feed budget and to make more accurate and timely stocking rate decisions.

COinS
 

A Farmer Friendly Feed Budget Calculator for Grazing Management Decisions in Winter and Spring

The Western Australian (WA) environment is Mediterranean with annual legume/grass pastures and a 6 month growing season. In autumn where over grazing can impact pasture establishment and in spring, prior to senescence, when under grazing can mean significant losses of efficiency are crucial times for grazing management. Pasture utilisation is typically low (25-35%) due to conservative stocking regimes; key to increasing productivity is increasing pasture utilisation (Grimm, 1998). Increased level of productivity require farmer sophistication in the way they feed budget. To this end, satellite technology is being used to provide farmers in southern Australia with weekly estimates of pasture growth rate (PGR; kg DM/ha/d) and monthly estimates of Feed on Offer (FOO; kg DM/ha) (Kelly et al. 2003). In addition the Green Feed Budget Paddock Calculator (GFBC) was developed to provide a simple and accessible electronic calculator which utilises this new information to assist farmers to feed budget and to make more accurate and timely stocking rate decisions.