SOUTH-WEST Victorian livestock farmers have been reminded that their farming of grass had a direct impact on farm business performance, at an Ararat workshop.
At the Ararat Nuts and Bolts of Grazing Management forum, presenter and farm consultant Lisa Warn said “getting your grass farming right has a direct impact on farm business performance.”
“A good rotation, that includes ‘resting’ pastures, results in improved production as the land is able to support an increased stocking density,” she said.
Farmers at the workshop were challenged by this question: ‘Are we growing grass to support livestock or farming livestock to support grass?’
The two-day workshop highlighted how effective grazing management could improve both the productivity and profitability of a farm business.
It was hosted by Agriculture Victoria with the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority Soils4Farms project through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
The sold-out event featured practical sessions covering pasture species identification, plant anatomy and implementing a rotation on farm.
At a farm visit at Mooneys Gap, participants observed paddock rotation in practice and how grazing management was being used to overcome weed infestations. The importance of feed budgeting to ensure that livestock feed requirements were met was also discussed.
Rod Vearing said that hosting the farm visit was a worthwhile learning experience and the discussion around winter cleaning was very topical to not only his, but everyone’s paddock performance.
Agriculture Victoria livestock industry development officer Tess McDougall coordinated the workshop and said feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive.
“One participant said he was now going to tweak his farm plan with more fencing to enable him to rotationally graze successfully,” she said.
“Other key learnings included the ability to perform simple feed budgets, the ability to measure pasture growth rates on an individual farm basis instead of district averages, and the relationship between good soil health, good pasture management, good grazing management and the optimum nutrition of livestock.”
South-west Victorian farmers interested in attending a similar workshop to be held in Dunkeld on 18 September, can register online at: http://bit.ly/2ZWnSIP-DUNKELD or contact Tess McDougall on 0409 841 492 or email [email protected]
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