Pasture Management BAG212

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Description

Make the best use of your pasture. Pastures are critical to many types of farming and to both small and large yielding enterprises. Some farmers have been reported to have turned unprofitable farms into commercial successes by simply improving pasture. This course will give you the skills to evaluate, design and make decisions about the management of pasture for different purposes

Every livestock farmer is first and foremost a pasture farmer. He may make use of the natural grasses or he may improve his pastures by planting special grasses. A good farmer recognises the different grasses and understands how to get the best out of them. He will be able to distinguish between desirable and undesi…

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Make the best use of your pasture. Pastures are critical to many types of farming and to both small and large yielding enterprises. Some farmers have been reported to have turned unprofitable farms into commercial successes by simply improving pasture. This course will give you the skills to evaluate, design and make decisions about the management of pasture for different purposes

Every livestock farmer is first and foremost a pasture farmer. He may make use of the natural grasses or he may improve his pastures by planting special grasses. A good farmer recognises the different grasses and understands how to get the best out of them. He will be able to distinguish between desirable and undesirable plants and he will know the grazing habits of his stock.

The whole art of understanding and managing pastures is highly complex because there are so many parts to it and each of these parts constantly change. For example, there are a great many varieties of plants that are used for grazing in any one area. Each plant has its own rhythm and will react differently to environmental conditions and treatment.

Different stock will graze in a variety of ways. Sheep graze close but cannot handle long grass; goats browse on bushes while cattle eat long grass and are not as selective as sheep.

Natural pasture is also constantly changing and developing according to the environment and number and types of animals that graze it. The changes can be good or bad. They are not always noticeable as they can take place very slowly. There is no doubt that man and animals have the ability to make rapid and bad changes to our native pastures.

A further problem is that farmers rarely have one sort of pasture. Most farms will have some natural pasture and some improved pastures. The natural pasture is often a mix of grasses with some grasses suiting one type of animal and others that suit a different type of stock. The improved pastures on a farm are specially planted to provide grazing at various times of the year and so need quite different management.

By understanding all the different parts that affect grassland, a farmer can begin to effectively manage his most important resource - his grazing.

Course Structure There are 8 lessons as follows:
  1. Introduction to Pastures
  2. The Grass Plant
  3. Pasture Varieties
  4. Site Considerations
  5. Establishing New Pastures
  6. Managing Existing Pastures
  7. Managing Stock on Pasture
  8. Pasture Management Work Tasks
Aims
  • Determine criteria for selecting appropriate varieties of plants for a pasture.
  • Identify characteristics of a pasture plant which are relevant to both making an identification, and to considering its value as a pasture species.
  • Evaluate the potential of given sites for pasture development programs
  • Explain the procedures used in managing the establishment of pasture.
  • Explain the techniques used in managing pasture which is already been established
  • Assess the commercial and nutritional value of pasture species in the context of farm animal feed, and determine appropriate ways of managing stock.
  • Develop an appropriate work program for the management of a pasture by a farmer.
What the Course Covers

Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Prepare a catalogued resource collection of various items including pamphlets, brochures and contact addresses for information relevant to pasture varieties.
  • List factors that affect the choice of seed mix for a pasture.
  • Categorise different pasture seed mixes according to application, detailing the components of each mix together, commenting on appropriate applications for that mix in the learners locality.
  • Explain the benefits of seed coating for pasture establishment.
  • Label parts of a grass plants on unlabelled diagrams
  • Distinguish between different clover and medic species using illustrations
  • List different pasture plant varieties suited to the learners locality, including:

    • grasses
    • legumes
    • other fodder plants
  • Identify different species of plants growing in an established pasture in the learners locality, by labelling a pressed specimen of each.
  • Submit samples of seeds you identified
  • What type of pasture is inoculated, and why?
  • Give and explain one example of why a dairy cow might perform differently when grazed on different types of pasture species?
  • Compare samples of different pasture seed mixes.
  • List three pasture species which would be appropriate to grow in each of the following situations:

    • Dairy cattle on fertile, moist soil in your locality.
    • Beef steers on poorer soils in your region.
    • Horses for a horse riding school in your locality.
  • List factors affecting the suitability of a site for pasture.
  • Assess climatic and edaphic data for a specific pasture site, including:

    • rainfall
    • temperature
    • topography
    • soil type
  • Compare the appropriateness of different soil cultivation techniques for pasture establishment on a specified site in the learners locality.
  • Explain weed control methods during pasture establishment on a specified site.
  • Explain grazing practices appropriate to new pasture on a specified site.
  • Establish production targets for a specified pasture, explaining how those targets are determined.
  • Select suitable machinery for pasture management including establishment and harvest, explaining the selection.
  • Explain the steps involved in preparation of a specified area land for sowing pasture.
  • Write a plan for the establishment of new pasture on a specified site, which lists all important tasks in chronological order.
  • Explain factors causing change in the nature of established pasture.
  • Compare improved pasture with native pasture, with respect to:

    • species present
    • weeds
    • maintenance requirements
  • List characteristics of different types of pasture, including:

    • sweet
    • sour
    • mixed
  • Determine sustainable stocking rates of a specified type of animal for different pastures. Specify the pastures and the animals.
  • Analyse the food value of different pastures.
  • Compare the grazing behaviour of different farm animals.
  • Define the concept of palatability of a specific pasture
  • Determine grazing capacity of a specified paddock.
    Specify the crop and all other variables.
  • Evaluate the production performance of two different specified pastures over a 3 year period.
  • Identify several weeds that are significant problems in pasture
  • Explain different methods of weed control in a specific established pasture.
  • Explain the affect of fire on a specific pasture.
  • Explain the affect of different soil management practices on pasture, including:

    • fertilising
    • pest control
    • watering
    • cultivation
    • fallowing
  • Quantify materials and supply requirements for pasture management.
  • List facilities required for the handling and storage of materials and supplies.
  • List minimum machinery required for the management of a specified site.
  • Develop management plan for pasture in a specified situation, including a program of tasks to be carried out over a 12 month period.
  • Explain industry research techniques and develop a conclusion.

Learn to evaluate, design and make decisions about the management of pasture for different purposes. This comprehensive course investigates different pasture types, the structure, growth and development of grasses, grass identification, the establishment of new pastures, the importance of legumes in pastures, selection of pasture types, seed mix, management of existing pastures, native grasslands, weed control, limiting factors, managing stock on pasture, management works.

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    There are no frequently asked questions yet. Send an Email to info@springest.co.uk