Judi Earl
Grazing Management Principles

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the theory of the range of ecological processes that occur in grazing environments and provide a practical guide to regenerative grazing management.

Price:

$1199 +GST (AUD)

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"Good information delivered in a straight forward manner and content is not too intense."
Trish
Australia
"Soil ecosystem content was great. It wasn't overly complicated, but explained the important components."
Dale
Victoria, Australia
"So interesting and informative! This information is a revelation."
Jule
Queensland, Australia

Course Brief

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the theory of the range of ecological processes that occur in grazing environments and provide a practical guide to regenerative grazing management..

This module will constitute a brief introduction to the topic highlighting the importance of grasslands as an ecosystem locally and globally.  The learner will appreciate the value of grasslands and the critical role that grazing livestock have to play in maintaining and regenerating grassland health and production. It will introduce the course presenter and outline Judi’s experience with the subject matter and her journey of application of the the principles of Holistic Management.

Participants will:

  • gain an appreciation of the importance of grasslands
  •  understand the impacts of grazing on grassland health
  •  learn the components of the grazing ecosystem
  •  receive an introduction to the presenter
  • learn the fundamental principles of the practice of HM
  • gain an insight how Holistic Management has been applied on the presenters property ‘Glen Orton’

This module will describe how grasses grow.  To effectively manage grasses and grasslands a basic understanding of the physiology of grasses is a useful starting point. It will describe the factors that influence grass and pasture growth and product and how defoliation, particularly by grazing animals, effects growth. The importance of the root system of grasses for plant and pasture health and production will be emphasised. The relationships between individual species and the influence of grazing animals creates a dynamic environment, diversity is important to maintain stability and ensure resilience.

Participants will:

  • understand how grasses grow
  • learn the factors that influence plant growth
  • understand that grasses have different growth cycles
  • appreciate the impact of defoliation on grass growth
  • learn that roots are the most vulnerable part of the grass plant
  • understand the relationships of different species within a grassland community
  • understand the importance of diversity for grassland health

 

Soils are the foundation of a productive grassland, pasture and grazing enterprise.  Soil health starts with the process of photosynthesis which is influenced by grazing animals.

The key elements of soil health as they relate to ecological health and production in a grazed grassland environment will be covered in this module.

Participants will:

  • learn the importance of plants/grass growth for soil health
  • understand the role of soil carbon
  • learn the basics of soil biology, what is the rhizosphere and why it’s so critical
  • the relationship between soil structure and soil water
  • gain an appreciation of the influence of the soil chemical composition on soil characteristics
  • understand how the grazing animal through it’s impact on the grass plant influences soil health

Grazing animals through their impact on pastures and interaction with individual plants have an important role in determining the health of a paddock, property or grassland ecosystem. Often blamed as the primary cause of land degradation, livestock are the most impartant tool the grazier has on hand to regenerate land.

The interaction betweek the grazing animal and the grass plant will be covered in this module.The use of dietary supplementation can influence the intake of grazing livestock.  We’ll look at the Importance of appropriate supplementation on pastures and animal health.

Participants will: 

  • understand the importance of livestock to land health
  • appreciate the grazing habits of different species
  • learn how, when and why animals selectively graze different plants and plant parts
  • learn why ruminant nutrition is important for grassland health
  • understand the need to change supplements
  • matching animal production cycles to pasture production cycles

 

 

Far from the simple act of opening the gate to allow animals onto an area of ground, grazing management is an enormously complex process that involves interactions with a vast number of organisms within the landscape and the environment.  The outcome of these interactions will vary in response to many external factors including the seasons and between years.  

The goals of the manager will also be an important contributing factor in influencing the effect on the land. This module will introduce the elements involved in managing grazing livestock, the range of approaches that have been applied historically and their effects.

Participants will 

  • gain an appreciation of the complexity of the grazing ecosystem
  • learn the range of approaches 
  • understand the consequences of each approach
  • know the difference between stocking rate and stock density
  • understand the effect of grazing management on the four ecosystem processes * the water cycle

This module will highlight the value of planning the grazing and why it is the most important activity a grazier will conduct during the year. The key elements and features of creating a grazing plan will be covered.   

Some guidelines for determining the appropriate number of paddocks will be presented. An effective grazing plan by default includes a drought plan. Since you never know when a drought has started until you’re in it, a proactive approach is needed so you are prepared for any scenario at all times.

Participants will:

  • understand the importance of feed budgeting
  • know how to conduct a feed budget
  • be aware of the need to match stocking rate to carrying capacity, at all times
  • understand how carrying capacity can increase by planning the grazing
  • know how to gather the information required and create a grazing plan
  • understand the influence of the number of paddocks per mob on the land
  • understand why it is necessary to always have a drought strategy prepared and built into the plan

As a grazier, your pastures and your soil are the basis of your business.

The importance of measuring and monitoring the condition of your resource base cannot be overemphasised.  The number of livestock you can sustainably carry will be determined by the amount of grass you grow, which will be influenced by the health and condition of your soils.  Monitoring allows you to be proactive in your response to constantly changing environmental conditions, to match stocking rate to the capacity of your land and potentially increase your carrying capacity in a safe and sustainable manner. A number of KPIs for pasture condition and production will be introduced in addition to a series of soil health indictors.

Participants will: 

  • understand the importance of monitoring the condition of their resource base
  • be able to design their own monitoring program 
  • be able to confidently measure herbage mass
  • be able to calculate pasture growth rate
  • be able to calculate water use efficiency
  • be able to calculate pasture utilisation %
  • recognise the indicators of soil health
  • have the skills to measure key soil heath characteristics
  • use the information collected to inform management decisions

The location and condition of the infrastructure on a property can have a significant influence on management. 

Whether considering a change in grazing management or planning upgrades to existing infrastructure, there are multiple factors that need to be considered.  Factors relating to design can influence the utilisation of land by grazing livestock. Water is often the most critical element to consider in the planning phase.  A number of practical elements for consideration will be covered as well as cost effective options for fencing depending on the type of livestock to be carried.

Participants will: 

  • understand the range of factors to be considered when developing a property plan
  • understand the concept of land capability
  • use the property plan to improve land condition and production
  • see the process to select the best plan
  • be able to evaluate the most suitable water source, supply rate required and delivery options 
  • be able to evaluate the most suitable fence type for their purpose
  • plan for development over time incorporating the grazing and financial plans.

This module will provide a brief overview of the key principles of the Holistic Management® (HM) framework and the importance of the process in evaluating decisions, particularly in relation to grazing and land management.

Developed by Allan Savory, HM uses decision making and planning processes to provide insight and tools to manage the complexity of natural systems.  This approach aims to achieve better, more informed decisions that account for likely social, ecological and financial consequences. Ensuring that people, land and money are considered in every decision tends to result in more positive outcomes in both the short and long term.  However, constant monitoring is needed to be sure that what is actually happening around you is in fact what you want.

Participants will: 

  • realise the critical importance of creating their own holisticgoal
  • be in a position to define the ‘whole’ they are responsible for managing
  • understand the four key ecosystem process and how every decision made effects our ecosystem
  • understand the tools we have available to modify our environment
  • learn of the 7 testing questions to be considered in light of your holisticgoal before making any decision to take action
  • be introduced to the planning processes associated with Holistic Management®
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This course is suitable for – people who are focused on regenerating their grasslands.  Those who are over the ‘battle’ and looking to work with nature and natural processes to restore ecosystem function.  The course will provide you with an understanding of ecosystem processes and how to work in tune with natural cycles.

 

Judi Earl

Holistic Land Manager
Coolatai, QLD

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