Sustainable grazing management for temporal and spatial variability in north Australian rangelands – a synthesis of the latest evidence and recommendations

Sustainable grazing management for temporal and spatial variability in north Australian rangelands – a synthesis of the latest evidence and recommendations Conference Proceedings

XXII International Grassland Congress: Revitalising Grasslands to Sustain our Communities

  • Author(s): O’Reagain, P, Scanlan, J, Hunt, L, Cowley, R, Walsh, D
  • Secondary Author(s): Michalk, D, Millar, GD, Badgery, WB, Broadfoot, KM
  • Published: 2013
  • Publisher: New South Wales Department of Primary Industry

Abstract: Rainfall variability is a major challenge to sustainable grazing management in northern Australia, with management often complicated further by large, spatially heterogeneous paddocks. This paper presents the latest grazing research and associated bio-economic modeling from northern Australia and assesses the extent to which current recommendations to manage for these issues are supported. Overall, stocking at around the safe long term carrying capacity will maintain land condition and maximize long term profitability. However, stocking rates should be varied in a risk-averse manner as pasture availability varies between years. Periodic wet season spelling is also essential to maintain pasture condition and allow recovery of overgrazed areas. Uneven grazing distributions can be partially managed through fencing, providing additional waters and in some cases patch burning, although the economics of infrastructure development are extremely context dependent. Overall, multipaddock grazing systems do not appear justified in northern Australia. Provided the key management principles outlined above are applied in an active, adaptive manner, acceptable economic and environmental outcomes will be achieved irrespective of the grazing system applied.

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Suggested Citation
O’Reagain, P, Scanlan, J, Hunt, L, Cowley, R, Walsh, D , 2013, Sustainable grazing management for temporal and spatial variability in north Australian rangelands – a synthesis of the latest evidence and recommendations, Conference Proceedings, viewed 30 November 2021, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=18154.

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