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Cell Grazing to Maintain Groundcover

Cell Grazing to Maintain Groundcover

Dumbleyung, Western Australia

  • Author: SWCC
  • Date Posted: Aug 27, 2014
  • Category:
  • Address: Dumbleyung, WA

Project Details

Project Delivery: Dumbleyung Landcare

Contact: Danielle Short (SWCC-Narrogin). Ph 9881 0202. Email: Danielle.short@swccnrm.org.au

Website: SWCC Sustainable Agriculture

Start Date:  June 2014                     End Date: Dec 2016

Site ID:  SF6

Size Are Ha: 6

 

Project Aim

To demonstrate in a low rainfall area the ability to establish and maintain 100% ground cover, all year round by manipulating winter and summer crops. This will be achieved by using no till techniques and controlled cell grazing to establish and maintain seasonal pastures, control weeds and extend the time of green growth production in a 12 month period.

Methodology

The site includes six paddocks and a control, ranging from 0.5 -1.5 hectares which are fenced and provide water outlet to each grazing cell. A mix pasture containing a mixture of annuals and perennials with late seed set or ability to regenerate after grazing will be sown and left to establish.
Once established, cell grazing will be carefully managed during the 12 month establishment pasture cover phase. The aim of the controlled cell grazing is to achieve the maximum length of sustainable green pasture paddocks in a low rainfall.
The project hopes to ascertain the cost of establishment, the change in soil biology and soil nutrient balance, the optimum plant species and their compatibility in growth patterns and the production and sustainability of using this system long-term.
Soil health will be monitored by a standard agronomic soil sample and ARISA assay in 2014 as the base figure & then a comparative test in 2016. The ARISA assay will be conducted at 3 sites, whereas the Standard soil testing will take place twice in each of the six plots and in the control plot.

 November Update:  Seeding of the pasture commenced in July and everything has successfully germinated and established.  The site will be carefully monitored over summer to assess the ground cover levels over summer.   The electric fencing  and watering points have been constructed ready for grazing next year.

 

*Join the growing number of farmers and industry advisers receiving trial updates by subscribing to SWCC’s Sustainable Agriculture E-newsletter.  Simply email danielle.short@swccnrm.org.au with “Subscribe to SWAG” as the subject.

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