Grazing Management Assignment

GRAZING MANAGEMENT ASSIGNMENT

Introduction
Leading farmers are now gathering and analyzing a lot of information in managing their grazing systems. They
are assessing their pastures condition, weighing animals, monitoring production, and using feed planning to help
them farm more efficiently and profitably. However, information soon becomes redundant if it is not used, and
knowing which information to gather, and how to use it, is a key requirement for profitable and sustainable
management of grazing systems in southern Australia.
As an agriculture graduate, you may well end up in a job where you are helping farmers who are already at this
level, or helping other farmers come up to this level. Therefore, it is important that you have a sound
understanding of the principles upon which good grazing management decisions are based, plus a practical
knowledge of some of the management rules of thumb and planning tools that can be used to apply and interpret
farm monitoring information. The aim of this assignment is to give you some of that understanding and
knowledge.
This assignment is based on the problem-solving approach that you will be familiar with by now. You are
required to develop feed plans for farmers somewhere in Victoria. The aim of the feed plan is to help the farmer
make grazing management decisions that will make best possible use of pasture in the animal production
enterprise that the farmer proposes to operate. Your task includes providing feedback and advice to the farmer
about those grazing management decisions.
Information and resources on the LMS
Information is available via the ‘Grazing Management Assignment’ page on the LMS.
There are five main parts to this assignment:
• The Problem Description screen, which presents key information relevant to the problem,
• Tutorials – there are seven tutorials, containing information on:
– A general introduction to grazing management (“What is grazing management?”);
– A description of some of the common goals of grazing management (“Objectives of grazing
management”);
– Information about the role of grazing method in efficient use of pasture (“Grazing Method”);
– Information about feed planning on pasture, and the planning tools that can be used (“Feed planning on
pasture: Feed profiles”, and “Feed planning on pasture: Feed budgets”);
– Information on how to manage rotational grazing systems (“Managing grazing rotations”); and
– Comments on some of the factors that lead to successful, or unsuccessful, use of feed planning (“Using
planning tools”).
• The Pasture Growth and Pasture Quality database. These contain published data for the monthly growth
rates (Growth database) and metabolisable energy contents (Quality database) of pastures in different
regions in Victoria. You will need data for the region to complete your analyses.
• ME Calculators. This allows you to calculate the monthly energy demand for livestock through an annual
cycle.
• Feed profiles. Spreadsheet you will use to analyse feed supply and demand in your assigned problem.
When you first open ‘Feed Profile’ spreadsheet for your problem, you should save it to your computer area/
computer/ memory stick, and always use your saved spreadsheet to enter the relevant pasture growth rates,
pasture energy contents, stocking rates and calculated energy requirements/ME production targets.

 

Assignment of problems
All students will be answering the same problem titled Delany’s Sheep Farm.
Submission of your answer and assessment
Submit your answer via ‘Assignment Submission’ on the LMS by Monday 21st October 2019.
Your answer should take the form of a written report of 500 words written as if it were going to the farmer; in
other words, as if you were acting as a consultant for the farmer. It should present the results of your analyses
of combinations of at least three stocking rates and two lambing times, together with your advice and
recommendation(s) to the farmer about their proposed course of action. In doing this you should make
reference to the pasture cover targets for critical times of year (see lecture notes).
You should include in your report the monthly Pasture Cover and Supply/Demand Balance graphs, for the
different stocking rate and lambing time options you have considered in answering your problem. Both graphs
should be considered and discussed in support of your recommendation(s). Figures or Tables of results can be
included over-and-above the recommended length of your report.
You must include an appendix to your report which includes Tables of the completed Feed Profile for each of
the stocking rate and lambing time scenarios investigated.

 

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