Will current rotational grazing management recommendations suit future intensive pastoral systems

Donaghy, Daniel J. and Bryant, Racheal H. and Cranston, Lydia M. and Egan, Michael and Griffiths, Wendy M. and Kay, Jane K. and Pembleton, Keith G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1896-4516 and Tozer, Katherine N. (2021) Will current rotational grazing management recommendations suit future intensive pastoral systems. Journal of New Zealand Grasslands, 17. pp. 205-222. ISSN 2463-2872


This review aimed to determine whether current grazing management practices will suit future intensive rotationally grazed pastoral systems. A review of literature on grazing management recommendations found that there was good agreement on the ‘principles’ required for optimal grazing management. While these management practices have stood the test of time, it is concluded that shifts in external pressures (e.g., climate, plant selection and breeding, system intensification) compared to the period when farm-level grazing recommendations were first developed, may necessitate a rethink of current grazing recommendations. Examples include greater pasture masses (e.g., around 4000 kg dry matter (DM)/ha vs. the recommended range of 2600 to 3200 kg DM/ha) where short-rotation (annual, biennial) and tetraploid ryegrasses are sown, provided a consistent post-grazing residual can be maintained (possibly between 40- and 70- mm height). Milder winters and the use of ryegrass cultivars with higher growth rates in late winter/early spring may necessitate either lower target pasture covers at calving or shorter rotation lengths during winter. Longer grazing rotations (well beyond the 3-leaf stage, i.e., equivalent to deferred grazing) can be recommended for select paddocks from mid-spring into summer, to increase seasonal resilience across the farm. Longer residuals (even up to 70 mm - i.e., almost double the recommended height) might improve plant survival during periods of high stress (e.g., heatwaves, droughts). Lastly, diverse species pastures may require specific management to suit dominant species other than perennial ryegrass.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2021 06:07
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2022 05:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: diverse pastures, grazing principles, grazing rotation, leaf regrowth stage, post-grazing residual
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300403 Agronomy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 83 Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 8304 Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops > 830406 Sown Pastures (excl. Lucerne)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1005 Pasture, browse and fodder crops > 100505 Sown pastures (excl. lucerne)
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.33584/rps.17.2021.3464
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/44104

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