Event

Matching your land-use capacity with herd/flock size and fodder availability on the Swan Coastal Plain is a good way to maximise production on grazing properties, but how can you do it effectively and economically? That’s what you’ll learn at the PHCC’s third Grazing Matcher program, starting in April/May 2024.

The Grazing Matcher program is entering its third year in the PHCC region, having seen more than a dozen local protein producing enterprises undertake 12-month training sessions with the support of Meat & Livestock Australia, the Department of Water and Regulation and Western Beef Association Inc. The program has been running yearly since 2018 in other regions of southern WA. The program was specifically designed for southern Western Australia conditions implementing locally relevant information. The rain distribution in southern WA results in producers having to deal with “mini droughts” every summer-autumn with feed supply deficit and a big surplus in spring. The program assists producers understanding the nutritional supply-demand of their own enterprises and ways to better manage the surplus and deficit yearly cycles.

Across the 12-month program, participants will attend on-farm practical workshops, aim to increase understanding of principles of how plants respond to being grazed under different stock pressure and weather conditions. Producers can then use these principles along with animal and paddock cues to support management decisions for improving pasture and stock production.,  The program covers grazing management, with participants learning to estimate fodder growth rates and producing grazing plans for their own properties; they also learn about how stock feed requirements fluctuate, how to monitor stock condition and how better match the feed demand supply for their farm.

The program runs with a small group of farmers with meetings rotating among participating farms. These practical, farmer focused, regular sessions have proven to be very useful to previous participants. The estimate cost of the program is close to $4000 but thanks to funding support from the above partners participant businesses can nominate up to two people to attend the training for the cost  of $650. This includes access to expert grazing consultants, practical resources to take home and on-call advice as required. For many past participants, joining a network of like-minded producers has been another major benefit as they form a support group with local fellow farmers that outlives the program

To hear what Mark Thomas from Hopeland has to say about his experience with Grazing Matcher, see his 1min interview at PHCC’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDRz_y_CoJw

The 2024 Grazing Matcher program will be open to protein (beef and/or sheep) producers on the Swan Coastal Plain, with each enterprise that joins able to send two people for the price of one registration.

If you are interested in joining this proven, industry supported program in 2024, please contact the Grazing Matcher coordinator Jeisane Accioly at [email protected]  or on 0403 327 216 for more information

The Grazing Matcher Program was an initiative of South West NRM and Western Beef Association Inc. and is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia’s Profitable Grazing Systems program, GeoCatch, Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee, Oyster Harbour Catchment Group and Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Governments National Landcare Program; and Healthy Estuaries WA, a Western Australian State Government Royalties for Regions program.