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Managing native pastures webinar and paddock walk summary

23 Sep 2022 2:05 PM | Alex James (Administrator)

This event was a combined webinar and paddock walk in early September 2022 with Jo Powells and Fiona Leech, Agricultural Advisors from South-East Local Land Services.

The topics discussed in the webinar include:

  • How native pastures respond to fertilisers and lime, and how fertiliser inputs impact species composition
  • Common native grasses and how to manipulate species composition through grazing management and fertiliser
  • The common myths about native pasture such as ‘fertilisers kill native pasture’ and ‘fertiliser reduces native plant biodiversity’.

You can watch the webinar here.

The paddock walk was an opportunity for landholders to practice their plant identification skills and look at the grazing values of some of the main pasture species in the Yass area.  


These are the main points from the event:

  1. Native grasses can be divided into groups depending on their main growing season and the way in which they capture and use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. The main groups are temperate (Poa and Austrostipa species), tropical (Kangaroo grass) and year long green perennial grasses (Microlaena and Wallaby Grasses). Year long green grasses respond well to rain in all seasons and have higher feed values than temperate grasses.
  2. Learn what pasture plants you’ve got and consider doing a grazing management course such as Prograze. Modified and highly modified pasture can be manipulated using grazing and fertiliser to increase dry matter production and animal productivity. Seek advice from South East Local Land Services through workshops and reading grazing research trials for your area.
  3. Some native grassland ecosystems are protected under threatened species legislation and these high conservation grasslands should be managed for diversity through modified grazing plans and management. If you need advice contact South East Local Land Services or the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust.
  4. Research has shown that most native grasses respond well to fertiliser and lime application, some species such as Microlaena, have a high requirement for phosphorus, similar to the level required for Phalaris.
  5. Legumes are beneficial in native pastures and many introduced species have become naturalised over time, clovers will respond well to fertiliser and lime application. 
  6. Learn to use a land lens and look at the different parts of grasses and forbs, you can buy cheap hand lenses at JayCar.

Jo Powells and Fiona Leech with landholder Christine 

Resources

Managing native pastures NSWDPI

Native pasture management and delayed grazing

How you can help protect native grasslands

Pasture legumes and their benefit

Laggan grazing demonstration (South-East Local Land Services)

Alternative grazing demonstration (South East Local Land Services)

Grasses of the NSW Tablelands

Threatened ecological communities ACT/NSW

Pasture recovery after bushfire

Prograze course

South-East Local Land Services – Contact us

Grassed up - Guidelines for revegetating with Australian Natives

This event was made possible with funding from the Australian Government through the National Landcare Program and in-kind support from South East Local Land Services. 


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Small Farms Network Capital Region Inc
PO Box 313
Bungendore
NSW 2621

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