A snapshot of pastures in the mixed-farming zone

Jeff McCormick1

1 Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (Charles Sturt University and NSW Department of Primary Industries), Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga NSW 2678, jmccormick@csu.edu.au


A pasture survey of 54 paddocks was conducted with 17 Farmlink members in southern NSW. The purpose of the survey was to determine how pastures were managed and which pasture species were sown. An assessment of the paddock then compared the sown species to the species growing in the paddock. In total across the farms, 15 species were sown, but lucerne and subterranean clover were the dominant species being sown in greater than 80% of paddocks. The average frequency in which these species were found was greater than 60% but with large variation among paddocks. Sown species produced 62% of biomass on average across all paddocks. Unless the frequency of a species in the paddock was at least 50%, then the contribution to production of that species was low (<20%). Using the frequency benchmark of 50% it could be demonstrated that pasture composition commonly includes only 2-3 of the sown species.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

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