Module 5 - Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

The information contained in the nine (9) PowerPoint presentations is intended for general use to
assist qualified Extension Officers to communicate the material covered in the Manual “Managing
Indigenous Pastoral Lands” to Indigenous pastoralists and their advisors and other stakeholders. It
includes general statements based on scientific research. Extension officers are advised to seek
training in the delivery of the PowerPoints where necessary.
Trainers and audiences are advised, and need to be aware, that this information may be incomplete or
unsuitable for use in specific situations. Whilst all care has been taken to ensure that all information is
true and correct at the time of publication, McClelland Rural Services Pty Ltd gives no warranty or
assurance, and make no representation as to the accuracy of any material or advice contained in these
PowerPoints. Before taking any action or decision based on the information in the PowerPoint
presentations, readers should seek expert professional, scientific, technical and legal advice.
To the extent permitted by law, the McClelland Rural Services Pty Ltd (including its employees and
consultants), the authors and its partners do not assume liability of any kind whatsoever resulting
from any person’s use or reliance upon the contents of these PowerPoints, or if changes are made to
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander attendees should be aware that the following
presentations may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.
Grazing Land Management
Is about:
• Managing stock numbers
• Managing land condition
• Fire management
• Weed management
• Managing feral animals
• Preventing erosion
Carrying Capacity and Stocking Rates
Long term carrying capacity
• Numbers of cattle a paddock can
support over the long term (8 to 10
• Depends on country type, land
condition, watering point location,
and pasture
• Get a professional assessment from a
qualified extension officer
Short term carrying capacity or
stocking rates
• Numbers of cattle a paddock can
support over the short term (a season
or a few months)
• Depends on the wet season, how
much rain fell and pasture response
• Stocking rates can be assessed by an
experienced station manager
Adult Equivalents
1 adult
equivalent is
a 450kg steer
(or a 450kg
dry cow)
Adult Equivalents
Can be used to determine how many cattle
a paddock will carry
If a paddock runs 500 AEs that equals:
- 500 dry cows or steers
- 1000 weaners
- 375 pregnant cows with calves
- 333 bulls
Adult Equivalent (AE) ratings
Steer or dry cow 450kg - 1 AE
200kg - 1/2 AE
650kg - 1 and 1/2 AE
Cow and calf - 1 and 1/3 AE
Horse - 1 and 1/4 AE
Grazing Systems
• Continuous grazing
• Rotational grazing
• Wet season spelling
Continuous Grazing
• No cost moving cattle
• Cattle get to know paddock
• Risk of overgrazing of some country
(e.g. sweeter country)
• If stocking rates not adjusted the whole
paddock may get overgrazed some
years, undergrazed in other years.
Rotational Grazing
• Pasture gets spelled for a period of time
• Prevents some grasses getting grazed out
• If a paddock is stocked for too long it
affects pasture and cattle performance
More management, more planning
Wet Season Spelling
• Pasture gets spelled during growing season
• Prevents some grasses getting grazed out
• May be needed to improve land condition
• Can overstock other paddocks that cattle are
moved to
More management - need to plan ahead
Land Condition Management
Condition of the land influences how
the land responds to rainfall
Land Condition Management
Land condition has 3 components:
- Soil condition
- Pasture condition
- Woodland condition
ABCD Land Condition
Allows land owners and managers to classify the land.
They can then make good management decisions.
A condition – good condition
B condition – fair condition
C condition – poor condition
D condition - degraded
Good condition (A), ribbon grass
between plants
is even
All big healthy
plants, and
good ground
Fair condition (B), ribbon grass
More spacing
between plants
Small plant size,
and not as good
ground coverage
Other species
start to dominate
Poor condition (C), ribbon grass
Less desirable species
start to appear
Bare patches
Small plant size,
and ribbon grass
becomes sparse
The Rolling Ball of Land Condition
The steeper the incline:
- the harder it is to get the ball
back up the slope
- i.e. more effort required to
revert land condition back to
its original state
Controlling Cattle Distribution
to promote evenness of grazing
Ways of Controlling Cattle Distribution
Placement of waters - to
spread the cattle out
Fire - attracts cattle onto areas
previously not grazed
Placement of lick troughs place away from waters
Placement of fences - cattle
forced to use new areas
Fire management
Fire must be used with care,
as it potentially can damage
pastures and lead to erosion
Fire management – grazing benefits
Removes old rank grass, the new grass
coming through is of a better quality
Attracts cattle onto burnt country, away
from over grazed areas
Reduces “fuel” build up, for fewer wildfires
Modifies pasture composition (seek advice)
Manages woodland thickening, and allows
more grass
Controls weeds, those which don’t like fire
Plan for a controlled burn rather than a wild fire
Weed Management
A single weed becomes a patch of weeds
If you see a single weed get rid of it now
Principles of Weed Management
Learn how to identify bad weeds
Look out for and map weed infestations
Develop a plan for weed control
Control weeds every year
Control weeds now rather than later (to
save $ in the long run)
• Prevent weeds coming onto your
Erosion control
Prevention is best
as repair is too expensive
Erosion control
• Maintain enough vegetation cover
• Reduce stock numbers in dry years
• Plan roads and fences to reduce
• Use ‘whoa boys’ on steep roads
• Put watering points in areas that are
less likely to erode
• Don’t over use fire
Feral Animal Control
Seek local expert advice for the most
humane and cost effective
eradication methods
to promote evenness of grazing
Feral Animal Control
Feral animals:
• Cause soil erosion and land
• Eat grass that cattle could be eating
• Destroy native animal habitats
• Carry disease infecting other animals
• Spread weeds
• Wild dogs work in packs to kill calves
Responsibilities When Leasing
Out Your Land
When drawing up a Lease make
sure land management
responsibilities are listed clearly
The Lease Agreement should contain
the following:
• Carrying capacity limits
• Stocking rates for seasonal conditions
• Maintenance of waters, fences, roads,
yards and buildings
• Maintenance of land condition
• Wet season spelling of paddocks
• Weed control programs
• Feral animal control
Grazing Land Management
• Monitor & manage stock numbers
• Monitor & manage land condition
• Use fire as a management tool
• Identify and control weeds
• Manage feral animals
• Prevent erosion
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