Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Pastoralists gain key skills in grazing land management

A grazing land management (GLM) workshop was delivered to pastoralists in the Kimberley to provide them with strategies to improve land condition, optimism production and maximize profit.

DAFWA, in association with Rangelands NRM, delivered the workshop at Liveringa Station from 26-28 February to pastoralists who collectively manage approximately 12,000 km2 of country and approximately 80,000 head of cattle.

The GLM workshop is part of the MLA EDGEnetwork suite of courses, which also include BusinessEDGE, NutritionEDGE and BreedingEDGE.

Rangelands NRM Landcare Facilitator Mel McDonald said the first day of the course concentrated on understanding the grazing ecosystem, including soil and land types, land condition, climate variability and key plant species.

This was followed by a session on managing grazing, which covered topics such as the impacts of grazing, utilisation and forage demand, long and short term carrying capacities, spelling pastures and evenness of use.

“At each stage, participants were encouraged to consider how the various strategies could be implemented in their own paddocks at home and a visit to one of the nearby paddocks allowed participants to practice their land condition assessment skills,” Mrs McDonald said.

The second day covered topics such as managing fire, the roles, benefits and limitations of improved pastures, managing the tree-grass balance and weeds.

“Participants were also able to go out into the paddock (between rain storms) and get hands-on with forage budgets,” Mrs McDonald said.

The final day brought the whole workshop together and participants were able to develop a project for their own property which will be implemented over the coming dry season.

Projects include:

  • installing new waters and fences to spread grazing pressure,
  • installing satellite dams to spell bores in the wet season,
  • conducting forage budgets in key paddocks,
  • wet season spelling of pastures and
  • spaying cows to reduce overall grazing pressure

Attendees received a tool kit which included a technical manual, workshop notes, a number of property maps, weed identification guides, fire planning tools and forage budgeting calculators.

A follow-up day will be held towards the end of the year to check on how the various projects have progressed and discuss experiences since the workshop.

The GLM workshop is aligned with the National Training package competency – AHC50110: Diploma of Agriculture, meaning that participants will receive Recognition of Prior Learning should they wish to pursue formal study through a Registered Training Organisation such as TAFE.

Anyone wishing to attend a GLM workshop, or any of the other EDGEnetwork courses in the future should contact Anne Marie Huey, DAFWA Broome on 08 9194 1428 or emal Anne Marie.

For more information, also contact Mel McDonald at Rangelands NRM.