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Informed decisions for managing climate variability in grazing systems.

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

PPS has received funding for a new project from the Federal Government: Smart Farms Small Grants Program.

The project aims to enhance the knowledge of farm managers to be able to make more informed decisions in matching stocking rates to predicted pasture growth. PPS currently has a network of soil moisture and temperature probes which provide current information to producers. The use of real time soil and moisture data when combined with the proven pasture growth predictor modelling system "Grassgro" developed by CSIRO will allow producers to make better decisions in relation to the amount of pasture produced in their systems. The predictions will be valuable in dry seasons but will also fine tune grazing management decisions in average or above average rainfall years.

The project intends to produce regional trigger points for action in line with the pasture growth predictions which will alert producers to changes from the average, this will aid their planning strategies in both good and poor seasons.

Jane Court, Agriculture Victoria, has an extensive knowledge of pasture systems and has been contracted to formulate predictive regional seasonal models of pasture growth using the CSIRO 'Grassgro" system. The models will then be overlayed with the soil probe network results and medium term weather forects to develop seasonal updates. This method was successfully demonstrated by Agriculture Victorian in the Hamilton region in a 2014-2016 demonstration project.

PPS has contracted the Federation University CeRDI unit to develop a platform to show the information and pasture predictions in a digital format which will show the results for sub regions in the area covered by the soil probe network.


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