Sustainable grazing systems for the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. 2. Effect of pasture type and grazing management on pasture productivity and composition.

Peter Dowling, David Michalk, David Kemp, G.D. Millar, S.M. Priest, W. McG. King, I.J. Packer, P.J. Holst, J.A. Tarleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The data suggest that replanting perennial grasses is an effective process for increasing perenniality in this environment providing that it is economic. Further, the implementation of TG over summer has proved to be a useful approach for maintaining or increasing perennial content in existing pastures. However, there is a need to integrate TG with the timing of superphosphate application to maximise the effect on the perennial component and minimise dominance by annual species.This paper reports results from a large-scale field experiment conducted on a naturalised pasture at Carcoar, New South Wales, during the period 1997'2002. Here we describe the effect of pasture type and management on pasture productivity and composition, and discuss implications for long-term productivity. Four different pasture types (unfertilised naturalised, UN; fertilised naturalised, FN; fertilised introduced species, SP; and fertilised chicory, CH) were each subjected to 2 management strategies (continuously grazed, CG; and tactically grazed, TG). Stocking rate was set at a conservative level initially and then adjusted periodically based on ewe performance and minimum values of herbage mass (HM) in winter. TG involved a summer deferment when required and a lower stocking rate than on the CG treatment. CH was managed under a 4-paddock rotation. SP and CH also had 2.5 t/ha lime surface applied before introduced species being sod-sown. Available herbage mass tended to peak during spring and summer and was lowest in late autumn'early winter. Under CG, application of superphosphate to the naturalised pasture increased herbage mass by up to 60%, but most of the response came from annual grasses (mainly vulpia and soft brome), and subterranean clover during spring. Fertiliser initially increased the herbage mass of perennial grasses relative to the unfertilised continuously grazed control, but this component decreased over time. TG increased the perennial grass content. Annual grass herbage mass was greater where fertilised and continuously grazed, but over time declined where unfertilised and/or tactically managed. Legumes were a minor component of these pastures, but were higher where fertilised and lower where tactically grazed. Net pasture growth rate (NGR) varied with seasonal conditions, and was higher where fertiliser was applied.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-469
Number of pages13
JournalAnimal Production Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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