8 January 2021

Helping Tasmanian graziers boost productivity and resilience: Site Visit

Research into boosting sheep and beef cattle productivity and enhancing resilience in the face of a changing climate will be on display at a site visit in Campbell Town, Tasmania on the 19th of January.

Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) Research Fellow Dr Rowan Smith will guide graziers and others through his work identifying and establishing perennial legume species that can successfully fill feed gaps and improve feedbase resilience.

The site visit is free and organised by Farmers for Climate Action, a movement of more than 5000 Australian farmers and thousands of other supporters who want to ensure that Australian agriculture is part of the solution to climate change.

Dr Smith said that climate change was driving more extreme weather in many parts of the world and making rainfall more variable.

“In the Tasmanian midlands, the changing climate means getting regular autumn breaks is a thing of the past,” he said.

“In the first experiments of this project we’re interested in re-establishing perennial legumes into existing grass dominant pastures to improve feed quality”

“Deep-rooted perennial legumes have the ability to grow later into the season and compliment  annual legumes like subterranean clover”.

“That means they’re more able to take advantage of good seasons, like the one we’re in now, but also provide ground cover in drier years and help limit erosion and unnecessary evaporation”

“I hope farmers will see that there is a real opportunity to reinvigorate pastures with legumes, without taking the risk of starting from scratch”

“I’ll also be demonstrating the sowing methods and herbicide applications we’re using to ensure the legumes can get established amongst faster-growing grasses.”

The project is funded through Meat and Livestock Australia Donor Company (MDC) and Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). The project is part of the Livestock Productivity Partnership (LPP), a collaborative research and development partnership involving MDC, TIA, NSW Department of Primary Industries, CSIRO, University of New England, and University of Melbourne, aimed at boosting livestock productivity and developing new R&D capacity.

Anyone who would like to attend can register on Farmers for Climate Action’s website. Graziers, agriculture professionals and students are all welcome.

ENDS

To interview Dr Rowan Smith, contact Lara Nicholson on 0431 050 768 or at [email protected]

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