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Science fine-tunes renewable grazing systems

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Industry & Investment (I & I) NSW researchers will explain their current work in the science behind grazing management during an EverGraze field day at Panuara, near Orange, on Wednesday, October 27.

Producers will see how new data on sheep grazing and production is being gathered using GPS technology and by measuring diet selection and diet quality as the EverGraze project enters its third year.

Orange Agricultural Institute-based I & I NSW research agronomist, Dr Warwick Badgery, said the project brought together a number of disciplines to fully explore the capabilities of renewable grazing systems based on perennial native grasses.

“We are comparing set stocking with four and 20 paddock rotational grazing systems, looking at lamb production and the impact of the different systems on the management of plant species, water and soil,” Badgery said.

“Animal nutrition, hydrology and natural resource management are all being intensely investigated at the site.

“In the second year of the trial the stocking rate for the 20 paddock rotation was increased by 25 per cent - that rate has been maintained and with an extra year’s worth of solid data we’re developing a better understanding of the grazing systems.”

The project aims to boost grazing profit and improve natural resource management outcomes and producers will be able to see first-hand how the different systems are performing.

Local farmers who are involved in the project will also be on-hand to share their insights.

Presentations by the research team, including Charles Sturt University’s Dr Jim Virgona who will discuss how to best integrate native and exotic pastures, will be complemented by displays of stock watering and automated weighing systems.

EverGraze partners I&I NSW, local farmers, Cooperative Research Centre for Future Farm Industries, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd and Meat & Livestock Australia. Lachlan and Central West Catchment Management Authorities support the project.

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