Don't Think, Know

Monitoring grazing management: Don’t think, know! Are we achieving profitable and ecological land management within our farming business?

Don't Think, Know

Monitoring grazing management: Don’t think, know! Are we achieving profitable and ecological land management within our farming business?

Taking Action -

LLCI05-5

The issue

Members of Mid Lachlan Landcare ran a field day with Graeme Hand in Mid 2016 on the topic of Holistic management and timed grazing periods. It was here a gap was identified in many participants knowledge: 

How do we know we are creating positive changes to our landscape and becoming more productive if we don’t monitor what we are doing? 

Producers needed more information on ways to measure change in their pastures during their transition to sustainable and regenerative grazing practices.  Upskilling was required in grass identification, measuring pasture density, recording what happens before and after animal impact and what happens after varying periods of pasture rest.

The solution

In partnership with Central Tablelands Local Land Services in 2017 a project was developed to enable 6 farms across our region to install two fenced 30m x 30m ‘practice plots’. Each of the farmers involved also attended 2 days of monitoring training with Mark Gardner.

The aim of these practice plots and training are to enable producers to discover which perennial species are present in their seed bank, trial different grazing intensity’s and recovery periods all with the aim of replicating positive results on the rest of the farm. 

The plots can also be used as demonstration sites in the future for members of our "Growing the Grazing Revolution" to visit and discuss results among their peers.

The impact

Monitoring will be ongoing twice a year for the next 5 years and we are already seeing changes within the plots. 

There are three things we are measuring: Improved groundcover, improved perennial plants and improved plant diversity; three of the most important things to ensure improved root profiles, soil structure, water holding capacity and desirable feed for stock, all seasons, all year round.

Participants are enjoying their improved knowledge of plant species and particularly of native grasses. The upskilling enables them monitor landscape change and provide peer support to other producers transitioning to sustainable and regenerative grazing practices within the Mid Lachlan region.

Key facts

  • 6 Grazing farms involved
  • 12 practice plots built
  • Monitoring to continue for next 5 years minimum

Project Partners