Tips and tricks for managing high country pastures

Making the most of fertiliser applications and good grazing management over summer and into autumn in the Gippsland high country will be the focus of a pastures morning at Dargo on Tuesday 7 December.

Livestock Industry Development Officer Janice Dowe said with the price of fertiliser increasing and the possible scarcity of supply coming into autumn it’s even more important to make the right nutrient management decisions this season.

“Calculating and applying the correct nutrient requirements for both introduced and native pastures, along with good grazing management are important elements of managing pastures and crops,” she said.

Presentations will be delivered by Livestock Extension Officer Fiona Baker and Senior Research Scientist Meredith Mitchell.

Topics to be discussed at the morning include:

  • Making nutrient decisions to ensure productive pastures and crops
  • Replacing nutrients after fodder conservation (eg hay and silage)
  • Calculating annual nutrient requirements
  • Identification of key native grasses
  • Management of native grass-based pastures
  • Outcomes of the TopSoils Native Pasture demonstration site near Ensay.

Dr Mitchell has been conducting native grasses research at two trial sites near Ensay since 2016 and will share her knowledge of identifying key native grasses in the area.

“It’s important to identify the native grasses in a paddock and understand how best to manage them in terms of optimum grazing, maintaining ground cover and soil fertility.

“Results from the trial sites have shown it is possible to lift feed quality in native pastures by ensuring the right application of fertiliser,” Dr Mitchell said.

Ms Dowe said an overview of the Gippsland Agriculture Group’s Sowing the Gap cropping demonstration will also be provided.

The Dargo pastures morning will be held on Tuesday 7 December between 10 am and 1 pm. Morning tea and a light lunch will be provided.

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