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Using native pastures for grazing

Native pastures comprise permanent or semi-permanent naturally growing species that are well adapted to Queensland's varying climate zones. They often grow in areas with poor soil quality.

Benefits of using native pasture in grazing systems

Native pastures are a cheap resource that can be productive and profitable with careful management. A healthy native pasture can contain up to 100 species including about 30% perennial grasses.

How to manage native pastures

Managing native pastures is similar to managing sown pastures, although many native species respond poorly to fertilisation and can even decline when fertilised.

It's important to consider the impact of grazing and non-grazing on native pastures. You should provide regular spelling and develop a pasture management plan that is flexible enough to change with stock requirements and the weather.

Current grazing methods also recommend adding legumes into native pasture to improve the diet of livestock and better manage native grass grazing.

Native pasture management plan

Careful management of native pasture provides you with the cheapest long-term fodder source. A pasture management plan should consider:

  • pasture growth - the different phases of plant growth and factors that affect growth rate
  • regular burns to improve the condition of native pasture
  • grazing management - including ways to organise livestock to make best use of native pastures without damaging pasture composition or condition
  • tree-grass balance - taking into account the role played by trees in grazing land ecosystems.

Also consider...