A reasonable knowledge now exists about Australian rangeland species, soils and climate. The herbaceous layer is the key to pastoral production, pasture condition and potential land degradation. The herb plants, including grasses, provide ground cover, fuel for fires and organic matter to the soil, microfauna, wild animals and domestic stock. Prudent management of herbaceous plants is Ã¡ vital objective for property managers when formulating long- and short -term property plans. Grazing research and limited property data show, that instead of consistently maintaining stock numbers at levels that historically have caused land degradation, a reduction by 10- 20Ã© in numbers should maintain long term profits via better pastures and better individual animal production. Well presented extension material and financial information should convince pastoralists of the value of integrating better pasture management with reduced numbers in property plans. Key points to be included are: 1. Strategic short -term spelling after good growing-season rains. 2. Complete spelling of some paddocks after a drought. 3. Preference by kangaroos for grass. 4. Plant morphology changes with season of growth. 5. Increased management flexibility when fodder reserves exist. 6. Some predictability of rainfall extremes in areas where the Southern Oscillation Index affects regional rainfall.
PUTTING THE 'T' INTO PROPERTY PLAN _S
Australian Rangeland Society
6TH Australian Rangeland Society Conference