PROD-500 Grazing and Nutritional Management
Wool Production focuses on the characteristics of Merino wool which influence its value, such as fleece weight, average fibre diameter, staple strength, staple length, colour, vegetable matter and style. The impact of genetics, nutrition, environment, physiology and management on these wool characteristics is examined. The interactions between these factors is explored in a range of environments, providing a systems approach to wool production in each and an understanding of the constraints to wool production at a national level, thus allowing the identification and evaluation of options available to the commercial woolgrower for improving productivity and the value of their clip.
Improving performance and returns per hectare is the subject of this theme. The management and utilisation of perennial and annual pastures is examined, as is the feeding behaviour and diet selection of grazing sheep. Mineral nutrition problems of grazing sheep and grazing pressures in semi-arid rangelands are addressed.
PROD-500-050 Perennial pastures for wool production
Management of temperate perennial pastures for wool production is condsidered in this topic. Experiments conducted in northern NSW and Victoria into perennial native pasture species are reviewed and botanical changes in composition of perennial pastures are examined.
PROD-500-050-050 Management of temperate perennial pastures for wool production: native species (1)
This module reviews an experiment looking at the potential for a perennial warm season growing native pasture to sustain sheep production in the temperate pasture zone of northern NSW. It is based on Bothriochloa spp (Red Grass) at Armidale, with stocking rates of 2, 2.5 and 3.2 sheep per hectare.
PROD-500-050-100 Management of temperate perennial pastures for wool production: native species (2)
This module looks at the potential for specific perennial native pasture species to sustain animal production in the temperate pasture zone of northern NSW. In particular, it demonstrates that early comparative research of native vs improved species was biased in favour of improved species due to differences in pasture age and fertiliser history.
PROD-500-050-150 Management of temperate perennial pastures for wool production: native vs improved species
This module reviews an experiment comparing native and improved perennial pastures for sustaining animal production in the temperate pasture zone of northern NSW. It demonstrates that increased carrying capacity and wool production per hectare can be achieved by a pasture improvement program based on exotic species and fertiliser application.
PROD-500-050-200 Management of temperate perennial pastures for wool production: high input systems
This module reviews research undertaken in the temperate pasture zone of Victoria, where the combined effects of fertiliser application and stocking rates has been shown to offer substantial improvements in total sheep productivity. Other considerations relating to these “high input systems” are discussed. The potential role of rotational grazing and the “whole farm” pasture management approach to meeting production objectives are also outlined.
PROD-500-050-250 Management of temperate perennial pastures for wool production:botanical changes
This module looks at changes in botanical composition of perennial pastures over time, and points to the fact that many pastures are sub-optimal from a sheep production view point.
PROD-500-100 Annual pastures for wool production
Modules in this topic consider the management of annual pastures for wool production. Issues such as strip grazing, stocking rate and sheep production, pasture dynamics, intensive spring grazing and the potential use of autumn deferment to increase sheep production on annual pastures, are considered.
PROD-500-100-050 Management of annual pastures for wool production: strip grazing
This module introduces the concept of strip grazing, whereby available pasture is rationed out to grazing sheep in such a way as to manipulate sheep production, especially wool growth, to meet pre-determined targets.
PROD-500-100-100 Management of annual pastures for wool production: stocking rate and sheep production
This module introduces annual pasture systems associated with wool production. The dynamics of these systems in terms of between and within year variation in pasture availability and botanical composition are outlined.
PROD-500-100-150 Management of annual pastures for wool production: pasture dynamics
This module introduces annual pasture systems associated with wool production. The dynamics of these systems in terms of between and within year variation in pasture availability and botanical composition are outlined.
PROD-500-100-200 Management of annual pastures for wool production: intensive spring grazing
This module introduces the concept of intensive spring grazing, the goal of which is to control annual pasture availability during the springto achieve predetermined sheep production objectives
PROD-500-100-250 Management of annual pastures for wool production: autumn deferment
This module reviews two experiments examining the potential use of autumn deferment to increase sheep production on annual pastures. Each involves a comparison with continuous grazing under set-stocked conditions.
PROD-500-150 Diet Selection in Grazing Sheep and Supplementary Feeding
The principles of diet selection in grazing sheep and the processes whereby sheep learn which foods are valid for ingestion are discussed. The use of feed supplements for grazing sheep is also considered.
PROD-500-150-050 Diet selection in sheep
This module looks at some of the principles of diet selection in grazing sheep. It considers the effects of tiller length, availability of green material, moisture content and energy requirements on the choice the sheep makes as to which components of the feed on offer it will consume. It emphasises that the relative proportions of pasture species in the diet generally does not reflect the relative proportions of these species in the pasture. It also demonstrates that diet selection varies considerably between individual sheep grazing the same area.
PROD-500-150-100 How does a sheep learn about a new food?
This module examines the processes whereby sheep learn which foods are and are not valid for ingestion. It considers the roles of sensory cues, post-ingestive consequences, neophobia and social factors on the learning experience. The influence of early exposure of lambs to supplementary feeds on their acceptance of supplements at older ages is highlighted.
PROD-500-150-150 The use of feed supplements for grazing sheep
This module discusses some of the considerations associated with use of feed supplements for grazing sheep. It considers the factors of importance in choosing which supplement to use as well as issues affecting the amount and frequency of feeding. The role of rumen modifiers and the value of crop residues for sheep production are introduced.
PROD-500-250 Mineral Nutrition
This topic examines mineral nutrition problems in grazing sheep and the mechanisms whereby deficiency impacts on ruminant production.
PROD-500-250-050 Mineral nutrition problems in grazing sheep
This module examines the processes whereby sheep learn which foods are and are not valid for ingestion. It considers the roles of sensory cues, post-ingestive consequences, neophobia and social factors on the learning experience. The influence of early exposure of lambs to supplementary feeds on their acceptance of supplements at older ages is highlighted
PROD-500-250-100 Cobalt deficiency
This module looks at the mechanisms whereby cobalt deficiency impacts on ruminant production. It identifies those regions throughout Australia most prone to cobalt deficiency and discusses some of the factors influencing the occurrence of deficiency.
PROD-500-250-150 Selenium deficiency
This module defines the mechanisms whereby selenium deficiency impacts on ruminant production. It identifies those regions throughout Australia most prone to selenium deficiency and discusses some of the factors influencing the occurrence of deficiency.
PROD-500-250-200 Iodine deficiency
This module looks at the mechanisms whereby iodine deficiency impacts on ruminant production. It discusses some of the factors influencing the occurrence of deficiency.
PROD-500-250-200 Copper deficiency
This module looks at the mechanisms whereby copper deficiency impacts on ruminant production. It discusses some of the factors influencing the occurrence of deficiency, in particular the interaction between the relative availability of copper, molybdenum and sulfur.
PROD-500-300 Semi-arid rangelands for wool production
The nature of semi-arid rangelands used for wool production is defined and studies conducted on the impact of Merino grazing pressure on rangeland communities are reviewed.
PROD-500-300-050 Semi-arid rangelands used for wool production
This module defines the nature of semi-arid rangelands used for wool production and characterises some of the following rangeland communities: mitchell grasslands, semi-arid woodlands; chenopod shrublands; mallee; mulga woodlands. The distribution of these communities throughout Australia is also indicated.
PROD-500-300-100 The impact of grazing pressure and diet selectivity in a saltbush-cotton bush community
This module reviews a study on the impact of Merino grazing pressure and diet selectivity on a saltbush-cottonbush community on the Riverine Plain of NSW. It demonstrates the large effect on vegetation balance resulting from relatively small increases in stocking rate, in a rangeland community generally considered to be intermediate in its resilience to grazing pressure.
PROD-500-300-150 Semi-arid rangelands: managing grazing pressure
This module looks at the impact of grazing pressure on rangeland communities, discussing diet selectivity, spatial distribution and grazing pressure exerted by competing herbivores. It also looks at the effect of grazing on fuel loads required for fire, and the inevitable consequence of reduced fire frequency (and thus shrub control) with increased grazing pressure.