Abstract: There are many factors that affect rangeland productivity and how it is channelled through “natural” and livestock components of food webs. There are pastoral programmes that address many of these factors quite specifically, be they commercial or taxpayer funded. In all of them, there is much good substance. The fundamentals of managing stocking rate and so forth are as relevant today as ever. What may be lacking in all of them is an understanding of rangelands as more than static mosaics of country types, though this appreciation is not structurally excluded from some programmes. Given that pastoral production depends on primary plant productivity and that this requires positive soil moisture balance, should we not also look at what drives patterns of soil moisture balance and how this can be enhanced? This ecosystem appreciation of how to manage the factors driving primary productivity has global significance.