Steady rain helps de-stress pastures in parts, but management has big role too

Following welcome rain across much of the State the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is releasing information to farmers on how to de-stress their pastures so they achieve their full potential as quickly as possible.

NSW DPI agronomist Bob McGufficke today said while most of NSW is still in drought, de-stressing and replenishing pastures is a crucial part of drought recovery and should be on the top of farmers’ post-drought priority list.

‘It is vitally important to rebuild the State’s livestock numbers and improve farmers’ earning capacity as soon as possible,’ Mr McGufficke said.

‘For this reason it is crucial that the potential from our pastures must be realised quickly when the dry breaks and the new Managing Pastures After Drought - Primefact 41 released by the NSW DPI has the information to help farmers get the ball rolling.

‘Pastures come under great pressure during drought and therefore require special attention after prolonged dry spells.’

This latest Primefact offers ways to determine the potential of your pasture, assessing what has survived the drought, the potential risks (such as erosion) as well as strategies for managing what is left and rejuvenation options for post drought pastures.

‘Large areas of perennial pastures will have thinned out, depending on the severity of drought, stock pressure, the species involved and soil fertility,’ Mr McGufficke said.

‘Different varieties require certain management to ensure the best results.

‘For example, cocksfoot and ryegrass have poorer survival compared to phalaris and in many situations, compared with fescue, although survival has been better on heavier soils and where pastures were stocked with cattle rather than sheep.’

Media contact: Brett Fifield on 02 6391 3311 or 0427 029 511.