The 2021 Grazing Matcher group recently wrapped up their last meeting at Rob McFerran's Treeton property. Despite a fire blazing nearby, Rob was a gracious host as always!
This group of local beef and sheep farmers invested their time to learn about best practice grazing, to reduce their environmental impacts and improve their farm business.
The group received information and hands-on tools to help guide their decisions around rotational grazing, feed budgeting and making hay and silage.
"I can calculate the grazing rotation for my property now rather than just visually assessing and guessing which is helpful. And I've learnt how leaving pasture residue of 4-6cm allows pasture to regrow quicker and can increase dry matter production" said Rob.
Felicity Bradshaw, who farms at Carbunup said getting to understand the principles of rotational grazing was a huge learning.
"I know more about how grass grows and how temperature and sunlight affect rotation speeds in different seasons" said Felicity.
The group's knowledge on the importance of reaching the 2-3 leaf stage before grazing was well established by the end of the course. The 2-3 leaf stage in ryegrass allows the pasture’s ‘solar panels’ to recover and energy levels to replenish before the next grazing. The importance of resting paddocks until this leaf stage was put into practice during the course, with good results.
"We’ve been following the 35 day rotation speed, allowing the ryegrass to get to 3 leaf stage, and now we have a lot of feed in front of us" said participant Duncan Anderson who farms near Donnybrook.
A big thanks to everyone involved in the 2021 program, especially course facilitators Jeisane Accioly and Dan Parnell and Bree Brown who coordinated the group on behalf of GeoCatch.
The Grazing Matcher program is a joint initiative of Western Beef Association Inc and South West Catchments Council, and is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia’s Profitable Grazing Systems program (PGS) and GeoCatch.
We look forward to working with a new group of farmers this year. If you are interested in joining, sign up at the link below.