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Pasture Management

Replacement of woodlands and native perennial grasslands with introduced annual pasture species has contributed to an increase in salinity, soil acidification and soil erosion. The establishment and improved management of deep-rooted perennial pastures on agricultural land is a long standing practice to assist in the control many forms of land degradation. These practices are widely recommended in catchment management plans as strategies to reduce the rise of groundwater tables and to reduce the rate of soil acidification. Perennial pasture resowing rates and top-dressing of perennial pastures were selected as indicators of the extent of adoption of sustainable pasture management practices.

thumb nail map for perennial pasture

Perennial Pasture Rewsown Rates 1996/97
Photo:  Granite Hills near Waubra
Grazing near Waubra
Summary of trends
  • Pasture resown rates in Victoria were related to the wool prices. With high wool prices in mid 1980s there was an increase in resowing rates followed by a drop in the late 1980s when wool prices were low.
  • Generally sowing rates for perennial pastures are seen as lower than desirable. This is due to a number of complex economic, demographic and social factors.
  • There was a significant increasing trend in perennial pasture and lucerne resowing rates (2.4% and 0.6% of total pasture area respectively) in 1995/96.
  • Pasture resowing rates were greatest in south west Victoria and in the North Central region where grazing industries predominate, and lower in regions where annual cropping rotations are a pattern of the primary land use.
  • Lucerne was predominant in the North Central region where dryland lucerne is compatible with existing faming systems and soils.
  • The adoption of improved pasture management systems was lower than desirable. There was a large drop in fertiliser usage on pastures between 1990 and 1995.

The full reports on the adoption of pasture management practices for every catchment management region in Victoria are linked to from this site.

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(PDF 282KB)

(PDF 202KB)

(PDF 306KB)
Goulburn Broken

(PDF 273KB)

(PDF 277KB)

North East

(PDF 370KB)

North Central

(PDF 291KB)

Port Phillip & Westernport

(PDF 218KB)


(PDF 186KB)

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