Report reveals impacts of livestock on no-till systems
What are the impacts of livestock on no-till farming systems, and how can livestock be better integrated into these systems?
These issues are explored in the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) report Review of Livestock Impacts on No-Till Systems, which can now be downloaded at www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-LivestockOnNoTillSystems.
Co-author James Fisher, of Désirée Futures, presented the report’s findings recently at Agribusiness and Regional Crop Updates, supported the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and the GRDC.
“The report included a scientific review covering issues such as ground cover; soil compaction; soil water; nutrient cycling; pest management; biodiversity and integrating crops and livestock,” Dr Fisher said.
“It also includes feedback from 39 participants in grower focus groups and economic analysis using data from case studies – including farmers in Western Australia’s northern and southern Wheatbelt.
“Most farmers do not wish to completely remove livestock from their systems.
“The report identified management approaches that may be used to minimise negative impacts and to realise benefits associated with integrating cropping and livestock.
“The personal preference of farmers is a key element in the decision to incorporate livestock or not.
“It is important to do what you do well and to focus appropriate management attention on it.”
The Review of Livestock Impacts on No-Till Systems report was conducted by Curtin University (Muresk) and DAFWA, on behalf of the GRDC.
It was written by Dr Fisher, Dr Peter Tozer, of PRT Consulting, and Dr Doug Abrecht, of DAFWA.
PHOTO CAPTION: Sheep grazing on stubbles and perennials.
GRDC project code: CUR00006
GRDC Project Code CUR00006
Region West, North, South