Pastures

Pastures play a major role in agricultural enterprises and contribute over $3 billion annually in Western Australia through animal production, improvements to crop rotations and conserved fodder. In a typical year pastures occupy up to half the land in low to medium rainfall areas and over two thirds of the land in high rainfall areas. Improved pastures are increasingly being used to play a more comprehensive role in farming systems to address emerging challenges for environment protection and food production.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is a world leader in pasture breeding and selection, grazing systems design and agronomic management of pastures. The department provides information, tools and resources to support the success of the agriculture sector in improving the productivity and profitability of pasture systems under both dryland and irrigated conditions. 

Articles

  • Saline lands in Western Australia (WA) often suffer winter waterlogging, with the levels of salinity and depth to watertable varying markedly both spatially and between seasons.

  • Applying nitrogen fertiliser to pasture in winter can increase dry matter production of grasses and broadleaf weeds and help reduce feed shortages in winter.

  • Spray-topping is a very effective method for managing annual grass seed set in pastures.

  • Signal grass is a warm season (C4) sub-tropical grass but it is not recommended for sowing either alone or as a component of species mixtures in Western Australia due to a high risk of causing seco

  • Setaria is a a palatable bunch grass with moderate drought tolerance.

  • Perennial pastures have transformed large areas of the agricultural area in south-western Australia.

  • Grazing annual pastures in autumn can potentially lead to a significant reduction in pasture seedling density, especially within the first 12 days after the break of season.

  • In Western Australia, competition from 7-90 capeweed plants per square metre in a wheat crop can reduce crop yield by 28-44% and net return by 25-76%.

  • Growing global demand for Australian beef products, driven primarily by Asian countries, presents opportunities to expand livestock production and value add in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of

  • Most unplanned fires have a drastic effect on a pasture. Fire changes the plant composition and reduces growth and carrying capacity in the following season.

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