'Trigger Points' For Stocking Decisions In Western NSW

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Hacker, R.B.
Alemseged, Y.
Carberry, P.M.
Smith, W.J.
The Australian Rangeland Society
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Stocking rate decisions in western NSW are complicated by variable and largely non-seasonal rainfall. We sought to define 'trigger points' that could assist stocking decisions, particularly when little skill is available in seasonal climate risk assessments based on the SOI Phase system. Long term daily pasture growth simulations obtained from the WinGRASP model were used to calculate an index of pasture growth over the following three months, together with the 20th, 50th and 80th percentile values for three-monthly growth, commencing at fortnightly intervals throughout the year. We worked with pastoralists throughout the Western Division and adjacent mixed farming areas to identify 3-monthly pasture growth profiles best suited to their location. Acceptable profiles were identified for 27 locations, together with the broad country types on the respective properties. Interpretation of these profiles should allow other pastoralists in the vicinity, managing similar types of country, to define their own trigger points to assist stocking decisions when useful seasonal risk assessments are not available, or to provide additional support for such decisions at those times when seasonal risk assessments are more useful. Both tactical and strategic management decision should benefit from the growth profiles defined.
Conference Name: 
Australian Rangeland Society 14th Biennial Conference
Conference Date: 
Sunday, September 3, 2006
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Document Type: 
Conference Paper
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3 - 7 September, 2006 Renmark, South Australia ISSN 1323 660
Australian Rangeland Society

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