Land types in grazing land management

Healthy land underpins the profitability and sustainability of all Queensland grazing enterprises. The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries developed ‘Land types of Queensland‘ to provide grazing land managers with practical information to:

  • describe the characteristics, capabilities and limitations of their land in producing useful forage
  • help assess land condition and carrying capacities
  • allow for better informed stocking and management decisions.

What is a land type?

A land type is an area of grazing land that has characteristic patterns of soil, vegetation and landform that are easily recognised by landholders in a region. A number of land types may be present on a single grazing enterprise. More than 240 land types from 16 Grazing Land Management (GLM) regions in Queensland have been described.

How is a land type described?

Land types are described by:

  • landscape photograph
  • landform
  • woody vegetation
  • expected pasture composition
  • soil characteristics
  • Long-term carrying capacity information
  • enterprise
  • grazing management recommendations
  • limitations to use of the land
  • grazing management recommendations
  • conservation features
  • regional ecosystems
  • regional map showing the distribution, area, rainfall and tree cover of each land type.

The scale of land types

The focus of land type development was at the paddock and property scale to enable producers to identify areas of land that differ in their capabilities to produce forage, and determine how these differences affect productivity, carrying capacity, and influence management options.

The use of land types in grazing land management

The use of land types was intended to form the basis of management units for property mapping, inventory, assessment and planning, which is often below the resolution of available Land Systems or Land Resource Area mapping.

Use of land type descriptions with a pasture growth model allow determination of grass growth predictions to assist in the management of land type areas. These predictions are specifically used in ‘Stocktake‘, a paddock-scale land condition monitoring and management package, and ‘Grazing land management‘ workshops where you can assess the suitability of different pasture development options and determine the financial impact of grazing management options.

The long-term carrying capacity information

Long-term carrying capacity information provides estimates of the average number of stock a land type can carry over a long period – through good and poor seasons, including extended periods of dry conditions and drought, with no decline in land condition. Use of land type descriptions with associated carrying capacity information can assist in the grazing land management decisions such as planning for property improvements (e.g. fencing and watering points) and matching number and class of livestock to land types while maintaining or improving land condition.

The carrying capacity information is consistent with that provided through the FORAGE decision support system. These predictions are specifically used in ‘Stocktake GLM‘, a paddock-scale land condition monitoring and forage budget tool, and ‘Grazing land management‘ workshops where you can assess the suitability of different pasture development options and determine the financial impact of grazing management options.

The mapping of land types

The Grazing Land Management (GLM) land type mapping provides the spatial representation of ‘Land types of Queensland.’ Grazing land types are mapped across Queensland by associating Regional Ecosystems spatial data to each GLM land type.