The semi-arid region of NSW was settled in 1870, with wool production being the major focus. From settlement through to 1950, and even later in some places, rabbits were a major cause of degradation. During this period there were numerous droughts and the land suffered degrees of overgrazing from both domestic and non-domestic animals. In some areas valuable perennial species were lost and livestock production is now reliant on production from annual species.
While annuals can provide a greater bulk of production in good seasons, they are less able to exploit subsoil moisture or utilise small, out of season rainfalls, and they require relatively large opening rains to initiate growth each year. As a result, long-term production has declined and it is desirable to increase the proportion of perennials in the pasture to increase livestock production as well as environmental stability. This process will be a long-term project.
This Primefact sets out a procedure to assist in the restoration of our degraded rangelands.