A healthy, productive grazing system is an essential goal for any livestock producer regardless of enterprise size or type. Generally, advice provided to new landholders relating to carrying capacity is often based on traditional, “best case scenario” pasture management and relies heavily on consistent high rainfall patterns and heavy fertiliser inputs.
A more realistic approach looks at different pasture class types and their respective carrying capacities and then applies these lower figures to properties, until such time as the property management is self sustaining or better, in surplus. This ensures better environmental outcomes, more certainty for feed budgeting and potentially fewer associated costs, and better management of species-appropriate pasture management – particularly for small holdings.
The Western Port Catchment Landcare Network has developed a series of 12 fact sheets on a variety of topics of special interest to the small landholder. Whilst these fact sheets have been developed for landholders in this region of Victoria, the advice offered equally applies to other parts.
This fact sheet provides some useful considerations, resources and references for those starting out.
Click here to view the Fact Sheet Pastures carrying capacity
Source material is available so groups can edit and print their own modified version:
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The Share Centre is a service provided by Landcare Victoria Incorporated (LVI)