FORAGE decision support system

FORAGE is an online decision support system that generates and distributes, in customised PDF reports, information for rural Lots on Plan greater than one hectare in area for grazing properties in Queensland.

The reports generated by FORAGE incorporate a number of products such as SILO climate data, satellite imagery and modelled pasture growth, delivering them by email as easy to understand PDF property-scale reports, to help decision-making in grazing land and environmental management.

Download a two-page FORAGE Quick User Guide (PDF, 1 MB), or for more detail, see the full FORAGE User Guide (PDF, 5.5 MB).

Available FORAGE reports include:

Long-term carrying capacity report

Long-term carrying capacity information can help with planning for property improvements, estimation of long-term herd numbers, property purchasing and selling decisions and determining changes in carrying capacity associated with changes in land condition.

The FORAGE Long-term carrying capacity report provides an objective estimate of the number of livestock that a property will run safely for “A” through to “D” land condition, around which seasonal stocking rates can be adjusted.

Click here for more information.

Pasture growth alert

The FORAGE Pasture growth alert is a four page report that provides an assessment of future pasture growth and pasture resilience risk, thereby assisting in management decisions to increase property resilience to drought and help identify pasture recovery opportunities. Click here for more information.

Ground cover report

Fence line effect on pasture The FORAGE Ground cover report now offers a monthly satellite map for your property. Now, around the tenth day of each month the page one map will display an image from the previous month, showing a range of ground cover classes for property assessment. This report previously used seasonal (three month) imagery, which was often not available until well into the following season. Click here for more information.

Fire scar report

Order the latest FORAGE Fire scar report available from the Long Paddock website. You can see the fire frequency on your property for the past 10 years, to find out whether it has been burnt too much – or not enough, what months fires have occurred and where. To find out more about the FORAGE Fire scar report, click here.

Indicative land type report

The FORAGE Indicative land type report shows the current version of Grazing Land Management land type mapping (updated February 2019) and the approximate area of each land type with the selected area. Land types are areas of grazing land with similar soil, vegetation and capacity to produce useful feed.

The FORAGE Indicative land type report shows the location, size and proportion of land types within a selected Lot(s) on Plan. To read more, click here.

Rainfall and pasture report

The FORAGE Rainfall pasture by land type report provides historical rainfall, pasture growth, total standing dry matter and pasture cover information for a selected Lot(s) on Plan by Grazing Land Management land type. Rainfall is estimated (by interpolation) from surrounding rainfall stations, pasture cover from satellite imagery and modelling, and pasture growth from modelling alone.

To find out more about the FORAGE Rainfall and pasture report, click here.

In addition to the customised reports, the Queensland Government has created a number of short animated videos and recorded many explanatory webinars.

Recorded webinars

The Queensland Government’s Long Paddock website offers a suite of free FORAGE online property-scale land management reports. These reports have been designed to support those involved in Queensland (and Australian) agriculture to support decision making in grazing land management including graziers, extension practitioners, consultants, researchers and education providers.

In this presentation, Grant Stone (Principal Scientist with the Queensland Department of Environment and Science) discusses:

  • what reports and information are currently available;
  • how to access and order reports for your property; and
  • provides a preview of the new and soon to be released reports.

You can watch the full recording or use the the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation.  42:21 published 27 November 2018 by FutureBeefAu.

Download a copy of the FORAGE – free property information- part 1 – currently available information (PDF, 5MB)

Full recording

Playlist

  1. Forage – free property information to assist grazing land management decisions – Part 1: currently available information.
  2. Webinar ‘roadmap’
  3. What is FORAGE?
  4. FORAGE data sources: SILO Climate database
  5. FORAGE data sources: Grazing system models
  6. FORAGE data sources: Remote sensing data
  7. FORAGE support
  8. Common land management questions
  9. Rain and pasture report
  10. Indicative Land Type report
  11. Rainfall and Pasture by Land Type report
  12. Rainfall and Pasture Growth Outlook report
  13. Foliage Projection Cover report
  14. Ground Cover report
  15. Ground Cover – Regional Comparison report
  16. Drought Assessment Information report
  17. Erodible Soils report
  18. Regional Climate Projections report
  19. So, who uses FORAGE?
  20. What FORAGE products do I use in regard to land management questions?
  21. Wrap-up

New reports are now available for the FORAGE suite of online property-scale land management reports. The Crop Frequency and Type report and the Fire Scar report have been recently released and can be accessed on the Queensland Government’s Long Paddock website.

Two additional reports: The Pasture Growth Alert report and the Estimated Safe Carrying Capacity report are being developed for release.

In this recorded webinar, Grant Stone (Principal Scientist with the Department of Environment and Science):

• introduces and explains the newly released Crop Frequency and Type and Fire Scar reports; and
• provides a preview of the soon to be released Pasture Growth Alert report and Estimated Safe Carrying Capacity reports.

You can watch the full recording or use the Playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation.  39:36 published 4 December 2018 by FutureBeefAu.

Download a copy of the FORAGE – free property information – part 2 – new and soon to be released reports (PDF, 7.7MB).

Full recording

 Playlist

  1. FORAGE – free online property information to assist with grazing land management decisions: Part 2 – new and soon to be released reports
  2. Webinar roadmap
  3. The FORAGE system
  4. Crop Type and Frequency report (10 year crop frequency and crop type information by season)
  5. Crop Type and Frequency Map reports (by crop frequency, season – summer/winter, grain/cotton and pulse/cereal)
  6. Crop map images – Summer (February) and Winter (September)
  7. Fire Scar report (page 1 – background information)
  8. Fire Scar report (page 2 – years since burnt and page 3 – fire scars detected in each month)
  9. Fire Scar report (page 4 – time series graphs for the number of fire scars by month [historically] including fuel load and curing index)
  10. Fire Scar percentage area graph and rainfall pasture report (identifying low burn areas, high burn areas and biomass)
  11. Pasture growth alert reports (prototype – background information and report layout)
  12. Pasture Growth history (page 2 – moving 12 month period)
  13. Pasture Growth accumulation outlook (page 2 – 6 month pasture growth outlook)
  14. Pasture Growth total cover (page 3 – seasonal total cover)
  15. Rainfall and pasture growth maps (page 4)
  16. Safe Carrying Capacity report (prototype)
  17. What information is used to calculate Safe Carrying Capacity?
  18. Safe Carrying Capacity results and outputs
  19. Safe Carrying Capacity report – it’s progress for release
  20. ‘My FORAGE’ mapper (prototype – what is it?)
  21. How do I request FORAGE property reports?
  22. Your subscription options for selected reports
  23. FORAGE support
  24. Summary of new FORAGE reports
  25. Wrap-up

This recorded webinar is focused on supporting small landholders during times of drought and the subsequent recovery processes.

In this recording, Roger Sneath (Senior Beef Extension Officer, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) discusses the development of drought plans and the concept of having a strategy in place when faced with the challenges of dry conditions.

At what point do you make important decisions about the animals in your care?

Roger will also expand on what cattle feed requirements (for maintenance) you should consider when making these decisions. The topics discussed include:

1. Rain and pasture websites
2. Review drought plans
3. Feed budgeting
4. Drought options and tools
5. Feeding cattle
6. Holding breeder condition
7. Protein and energy supplements
8. Costing nutrients

You can watch the full recording or use the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation.  33:00; published 18 May 2020 by FutureBeefAu.

Download a copy of the presentation – Dry season management (PDF, 2.53 MB)

Additional resources:

Full recording

Playlist

  1. Dry season management
  2. Topics to be covered
  3. Australia’s variable rainfall
  4. Long paddock website and FORAGE
  5. CliMate website
  6. Drought decisions and review
  7. Making a drought plan
  8. Producer reflections on drought…
  9. Annual cycles and critical trigger dates
  10. Feed budgeting
  11. Drought options and tools
  12. Selling vs feeding
  13. Managing for variability
  14. Feeding cattle – how much do they drink?
  15. How much do they eat?
  16. Maintenance full hand feeding rates (as fed)
  17. Weaning information
  18. Estimated full feeding costs (425 kg breeder)
  19. Holding breeder condition
  20. Protein and energy supplements
  21. Costing energy and protein
  22. Fodder biosecurity (chemical, weeds, etc)
  23. Summary and take home messages

This recorded webinar is focused on supporting small landholders during times of drought and the subsequent recovery processes.

In this presentation, Bruce Lord (Healthy Land and Water) discusses the factors relating to grazing land management and pasture recovery including:

  1. Land types
  2. Soil health
  3. Grazing land condition
  4. Pasture and grass indicator species
  5. ABCD land condition scoring
  6. Grazing management tools
  7. And many more…

During the presentation, Bruce also discusses restoring and maintaining land condition.

You can watch the full recording or use the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation. 31:17; published 12 May 2020 by FutureBeefAu.

Download a copy of the presentation – Grazing land management and pasture recovery (PDF, 3.92 MB)

Additional resources:

Full recording

Playlist

  1. Resilience strategies for small landholders: Grazing land management & pasture recovery
  2. Grazing land management
  3. Land types and soils
  4. Land types affect pasture growth
  5. Soil health – functions and properties
  6. Soil health – plant available water content
  7. Soil health – nutrient availability
  8. Soil health – soil organic matter
  9. Soil health – groundcover management
  10. Managing soil limitations and at-risk areas
  11. Grazing ecosystem – Three gateway model
  12. Grazing land condition
  13. Features of a healthy pasture
  14. Some pastures and grass indicator species
  15. ‘ABCD’ land condition scoring
  16. Land in ‘A’ good condition
  17. Land in ‘B’ fair condition
  18. Land in ‘C’ poor condition
  19. Land in ‘D’ very poor condition
  20. The rolling ball – land condition
  21. Land condition affect pasture growth
  22. Maintaining land in good condition
  23. Land condition – the drivers
  24. Pasture and land condition resilience
  25. Grazing management tools
  26. Long term carrying capacity Vs Stocking rate
  27. Forage budgeting (balancing supply and demand)
  28. Safe utilisation rates
  29. Rest – a critical time is key
  30. Managing the grazing system
  31. Management of land types and soils
  32. Maintaining pasture and land condition
  33. Restoring pasture and land condition
  34. Resources

Videos

This short video explains how carrying capacities are calculated and why they are important for grazing businesses. Watch this video to find out more:

This short video introduces the FORAGE land management information system and shows how you might apply FORAGE to your grazing land management decision-making.

This video discusses the importance of pasture quality and quantity in maintaining the body condition of your cattle for breeding, growing and finishing.

FORAGE rainfall and pasture growth reports provide information that may be helpful in determining whether your paddocks can supply enough pasture to maintain body condition of your cattle.

This video discusses the questions you might ask when you are considering suitable areas to agist your cattle.
It highlights the FORAGE report/s that provide useful information about growing seasons, pasture growth and quality, and water availability.

This video discusses four key FORAGE reports that can help you to assess and manage ground cover and land condition on your property.

This animation explains how percentiles are calculated, how to interpret them and their use for products found on the Long Paddock website.

 

The FORAGE Pasture Growth Alert report is a four-page report that can assist with stocking rate decisions, grazing land management, and drought preparation, by providing a rating on past and future pasture growth.

This video gives a brief overview of the Pasture Growth Alert report – for a more in-depth tutorial on how to use the report, continue watching through until the end of the video.