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An online system for calculating and delivering long-term carrying capacity information for Queensland grazing properties. Part 1: background and development

Stone, G., Zhang, B., Carter, J., Fraser, G., Whish, G., Paton, C. and McKeon, G. (2021) An online system for calculating and delivering long-term carrying capacity information for Queensland grazing properties. Part 1: background and development. The Rangeland Journal, 43 (3). pp. 143-157.

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1071/RJ20084

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/RJ20084

Abstract

This paper (Part 1) describes the development of a new online system that estimates long-term carrying capacity (LTCC) for grazing properties across Queensland, Australia. High year-to-year and multi-year rainfall variability is a dominating feature of the climate of Queensland’s grazing lands, and poses major challenges for extensive livestock production. The use of LTCC is one approach used by graziers to reduce the impact of rainfall variability on land condition and financial performance. Over the past 30 years, scientists, graziers and their advisors have developed a simple approach to calculating LTCC ((average annual pasture growth × safe pasture utilisation) ÷ annual animal intake). This approach has been successful at a property scale (regional south-west Queensland) and in a wider application through Grazing Land Management (GLM) regional workshops. We have built on these experiences to develop an online system (as described in detail in Part 2; Zhang et al. 2021; this issue) that incorporates the simple LTCC approach with advances in technology and grazing science to provide LTCC information for Queensland grazing properties. Features of the LTCC system are: (1) assimilation of spatial datasets (cadastral data, grazing land types, climate data, remotely-sensed woody vegetation cover); (2) a pasture growth simulation model; (3) land type parameter sets of biophysical attributes; and (4) estimates of safe pasture utilisation. The ‘FORAGE LTCC report’ is a major product of the system, describing individual property information that allows detailed analysis and explanation of the components of the LTCC calculation by land type and land condition. The online system rapidly analyses property spatial data and calculates paddock/property LTCC information. For the 10 months between November 2020 and August 2021, over 4000 grazing property reports have been requested in Queensland, and has proven to be a sound basis for ‘discussion support’ with grazier managers and their advisors.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:safe pasture utilisation, livestock carrying capacity, stocking rates, land condition, rainfall, pasture growth, buffel grass.
Subjects:Science > Statistics > Statistical software
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Deposited On:22 Nov 2021 04:37
Last Modified:22 Nov 2021 04:50

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