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Low Cost Improvement of Perennial Pastures

Low Cost Improvement of Perennial Pastures

  • Author: Northern Agricultural Catchments Council
  • Date Posted: Dec 17, 2014
  • Category:

Project Details

Project Delivery: Evergreen Farming Inc

Contact: Erin Gorter

Phone: 0429 833 752

Email: erin.gorter@agvivo.com.au

Website: www.evergreen.asn.au

Supporting Organisation: Northern Agricultural Catchments Council

Website: www.nacc.com.au

Start Date: November 2014    End Date: May 2016

Site ID: 1512-05-06

Size Are Ha: 80

 

Project Aim

One of the barriers to adoption of perennial pastures is the cost of establishment, typically $150-200 per hectare. Given this high cost, farmers are reluctant to re-sow perennial pastures that either failed to establish initially due to poor seasonal conditions or have thinned out over time due to overgrazing.

This project will demonstrate an innovative method to improve the productivity of perennial pasture stands with sub-optimal density.

 

Methodology

Three (3) low density perennial pasture stands will be manipulated with herbicide in 2014 to kill the annual component of the pasture (a mix of grass and broadleaf weeds). This will allow new perennial pasture seedlings to germinate and establish without competition from annual weeds. These new perennial pasture seedlings will germinate from seed set by the existing low density perennial pasture over previous years. Over the last 5 to 10 years a number of farmers and researchers have observed new perennial pasture seedlings germinating from previous seed set, but no one has ever tried to use this process strategically to thicken up a thin stand.

A series of monitoring sites will be established within each paddock to monitor perennial pasture density over time. Plant counts and photo monitoring will take place every 2 months over the first summer (while the paddock is de-stocked) and thereafter every 6 months until the project winds up in May 2016.

 

This project is being delivered by Evergreen Farming Inc  and is supported by Northern Agricultural Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

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