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Reclaiming and sustaining productivity of Queensland bluegrass downs

Bishop, H.G. Mr; Ph: (07) 4951 8724; Fax: (07) 4951 4509; bishoph@dpi.qld.gov.au

Research organisations: Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Beef Industry Institute, PO Box 668, Mackay Qld 4740; University of Queensland, PO Box 668, Mackay Qld 4740; Queensland Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 668, Mackay Qld 4740

Sponsor: Originally National Landcare Program (NLP), now NHT

Objectives:

1. Facilitate graziers and others (landcare groups) involvement in the monitoring and reclamation activities (Action learning);

2. Combine landholders experiences and knowledge with research developed technology to produce relevant and practical best management principles for sustainable use of Downs country;

3. Develop a framework and method for conducting partnership projects in other local land types.

Methodology: Using Action Learning methods graziers and landcare groups will monitor pasture condition and identify indicator plants for determining pasture condition. Various identified practices such as pasture spelling, weed control and sowing additional seed will be compared. Best practice management guidelines for sustainable production from Downs Country will be developed.

Progress: Regeneration of Downs pastures is being monitored at 12 GRASS Check sites on producer properties. Improved seasonal conditions in 1996/97 and 1997/98 has generated better pasture growth and producers are learning to monitor this recovery of their native pastures using the GRASS Check monitoring method. About 350 ha of poor condition pasture on 4 properties, sown with native and introduced pasture seed in 1996/97, has established well. Best growth is from the introduced grasses and legumes but some Queensland bluegrass and Mitchell grass has established.

Period: starting date 1996-07; completion date 1999-12

Status: ongoing

Keywords: action learning; bluegrass; downs country; condition; drought; grazing management; monitoring; native pastures; productivity; sustainable.

Publications: None as yet

 

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