Pasture growth rates on farms in the south of Western Australia


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DPIRD Collections

Natural resources, Animal production and livestock

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One of the key differences between the extensive and intensive animal industries is the facility inthe intensive industries to know with a high degree of precision the amount of feed available to the animals at any one time and the quality of that feed. This understanding of the feed supply allowsvery efficient management and optimal utilisation of the available feed.Many of the efficiency gains in the dairy industry in the last 20 or more years have resulted because of the dairy farmer's understanding of the need to match demand and supply of nutrientsif maximal production is to be achieved. Feed budgeting and a comprehensive understanding of the dairy cows nutrient needs at all stages of her lactation and dry cycles mean that this is now by farthe most efficient of the industries using pasture as a feed base.If farmers in the other major grazing industries in Western Australia are to increase efficiency and develop improved production systems to assist in maximising their income they will also have to move to much more efficient use of the feed base. However, opportunities to do this have been constrained by a lack of understanding of the feed supply patterns in the different areas, and on the different land management units (LMUs), on farms.

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