This material addresses aspects of the following syllabus outcome:
H2.1 describes the inputs, processes and interactions of plant production systems.
The work presented in the following section contributes towards achieving the following syllabus content areas:
Students learn about:
Plant production systems
Managing plant production
Managing plant production
Extract from Stage 6 Agriculture Syllabus NSW Board of Studies Amended 2009
In Australia, pastures have been the basis of our sheep and cattle production, providing feed throughout the year. Due to climate and geographical area, livestock production (grazing animals) has been extensive in nature. This is in contrast to many parts of Europe and North America where animals are kept in more intensive conditions, particularly during the winter months when the weather is cold and harsh. Recently has been an increase in the numbers of cattle kept in feedlots but Australia still remains predominantly extensive in its sheep and cattle production.
Extensive animal production in Australia means that pasture production is extremely important. Pastures that provide year round feed, recover well from grazing, reduce the risk of soil erosion and are balanced in the species present are vital for successful sheep and cattle production.
This piece of work provides a model that examines the environmental factors that effect the pasture growth on the Northern Tablelands. Skills such as: collecting climatic data from the Bureau of Meteorology web site and then drawing a graph; comparing rainfall and temperature data with estimated growth rates of several pasture species; and drawing some conclusions about the influence of the climate on the pasture growth; are used extensively.
There are three other activities that you may select from once you have completed this one. Each one uses the skills you will have developed by completing this activity and the climatic information and pasture growth data for a particular climatic region:
Pasture growth is determined by the same factors that determine any plant growth. These include: climate; soil type; topography; and pest and disease susceptability. These factors determine the particular species that can be grown in the particular environment. This is known as the interaction with genotype and environment.
|Month||Mean daily max. temperature
|Mean daily min. temperature
|Mean rainfall (mm)|
|fescue/white and sub clover||58||57||50||28||15||10||10||11||25||44||58||60|
|phalaris/white and sub clover||28||30||37||34||15||10||10||11||25||43||57||55|
|red grass dominant pasture||33||32||28||8||2||2||2||2||10||35||39||37|
|microlaena/white and sub clover||40||36||30||17||10||4||4||5||22||40||47||49|