Rainfall use efficiency, natural resource management and profitable production in the rangelands

Rainfall use efficiency, natural resource management and profitable production in the rangelands Conference Paper

16th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference

  • Author(s): Gardiner, B.
  • Published: 2010
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: Rainfall use efficiency (RUE) is suggested as a measure of the productive use of the weather and measures the amount of rainfall that is converted into agricultural products. Rainfall use efficiency measures the interaction between rainfall, solar energy inputs and wind run and plant primary production. The greater the proportion of available rainfall that is productively used by plants, the more profitable and productive is the agricultural system. Natural resource management practices that address wastage in rainfall use and maximise RUE will maximise the profitability and productivity of farm businesses. These practices will also be shown to provide the best chances for maintaining landscape resilience to natural and manmade shocks to these systems. The conditions that maximise rainfall use efficiency are: 1) sufficient groundcover to minimise run off and soil loss by wind and/or water erosion, 2) sufficient litter to minimise evaporative water loss and maintain surface soil structure, 3) sufficient green pasture mass to maximise photosynthetic efficiency, 4) a diversity of plant species sufficient to ensure that rainfall at any time of the year can be utilised productively, 5) sufficient shelter to minimise water loss to evaporation, excessive evapotranspiration and heat and wind stress on animals, and 6) soil that is not limiting to plant production due to biological, chemical or physical constraints. Maintaining these conditions ensures that rangelands are kept in a more resilient state.

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Suggested Citation
Gardiner, B., 2010, Rainfall use efficiency, natural resource management and profitable production in the rangelands, Conference Paper, viewed 09 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3601.

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