Grain & Graze

Commencement date

2005

Completion date

2008

Aim

This project aims to boost farm profitability across the mixed farming zone of southern Australia while helping the environment.

Funding Provider

Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) and the National Landcare Program (NLP)

Project lead organisation

Collaborators

Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA), Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Land & Water Australia (LWA), Australian Wool Innovation Ltd. (AWI), Liebe Group, Mingenew-Irwin Group (MIG), Evergreen Farming, Victoria Plains Landcare Management Group, NACC, NLP, and community growers.

Project background

Grain & Graze in the Northern Agricultural Region (NAR) will investigate perennials and grazing cereals in a mixed farming system. The Liebe Group is to work in collaboration with four other farmer groups within Australia, as well as DAFWA, and the NACC.

Three primary objectives were established for this program:

  1. Boosting profitability for mixed farmers - particularly during the pasture phase of rotations.

  2. Better water quality.

  3. Improved health and diversity of vegetation and wildlife, both on-farm and across catchments.

Each group will work in coordination with several demonstration farmers who were comparing the productivity and profitability of livestock grazing annual pastures, perennial pastures, grazing cereals, and crop stubbles. Perennial pastures under investigation include tagasaste, saltbush, sub-tropical perennial grasses (Rhodes, panic, setaria, and signal grass), and lucerne.

This project also considers a number of other factors in the NAR, including:

  • Quantity and quality trials of perennial grasses;

  • Plant water use in perennial and annual pastures across six sites;

  • The impact of perennial grasses on nutrient leaching;

  • The environmental benefits of perennials in a mixed farming system via the National Biodiversity in Grain & Graze project (BiGG);

  • The threat of sub-tropical perennial grasses as environmental weeds, and;

  • Perennial grasses and erosion prevention.

Results and Reports

This project was funded by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council and the National Landcare Program.

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