Grazing frequency and intensity

Good grazing management involves organising livestock to make the best use of pasture. The key challenge is to balance pasture biomass (quantity) and stock numbers so that the condition of your land is improved, not damaged.

Over-grazing occurs when too many animals are grazed on a pasture or there is prolonged grazing, particularly at critical stages of pasture growth. It is essential for pasture health to manage grazing frequency and intensity. Failure to do this can result in severe degradation of pasture and soil.

Preparing a grazing management plan

Before you develop a grazing management plan, it's useful to:

  • understand the growth characteristics of your pasture and how it responds to grazing
  • identify the stocking rate that your property can sustain to maximise pasture (stocking rate refers to the number of animals per hectare on a grazing area at any one time)
  • consider grazing strategies, such as rotational grazing throughout the year, to use rainfall efficiently and ensure that over-grazing does not occur (rotational grazing involves moving livestock from one paddock to another to allow pasture to be spelled at the right time of year, reducing its susceptibility to drought).

Find out more about managing grazing for improved production.