Stocktake: balancing supply and demand
Stocktake is a paddock-scale land condition monitoring and management package. It has been developed to provide grazing land managers with a practical, systematic way to:
- assess land condition and long-term carrying capacity
- calculate short-term forage budgets.
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Why choose Stocktake?
Using paddock condition indicators, together with grass growth predictions for local land types, Stocktake allows managers to quantify the effect that sub-optimal land condition is having on their long-term paddock carrying capacity. The forage budgeting technique has been included as a secondary component of the system. It provides a dynamic tool for land managers to adjust stock numbers based on seasonal forage supply. Stocktake is primarily about monitoring. For specific information about management see our Grazing Land Management package.
Stocktake differs from other natural resource monitoring systems in three key areas:
Scale of assessment
Grazing land managers are required to make stocking and management decisions on a paddock-by-paddock basis. Many existing resource monitoring systems are point, or transect based, and focus on collecting data about specific aspects of the grazing system. In extensive grazing systems where paddocks often have a heterogeneous mix of landforms, soils, vegetation and infrastructure, a point-scale monitoring system alone is inadequate for broad scale assessment of land condition. Stocktake allows monitoring and assessment at a land-type scale.
Resource monitoring in terms of ecosystem health and long-term productivity
The ABCD land condition framework provides a standard means of assessing and rating grazing land condition. This framework scores land condition based on an assessment of key indicators of current soil, pasture and woodland condition. ‘A’ land condition is when the ecosystem is in the best condition and ecosystem processes, including cycling of nutrients, cycling of water and energy flow, are most efficient. ‘D’ land condition is when it is poorest and requires remediation.
By using an ecosystem approach, the system acknowledges the importance that all components have on grazing productivity. For example, poor soil condition or woodland thickening. In a pasture-only monitoring system such imbalances would go unnoticed. A simple field assessment system for the ABCD framework has been developed for Stocktake. Forage budgets provide a means for then tactically adjusting stock numbers based on seasonal conditions.
Data management and meaningful interpretation of results
A key downfall with many monitoring systems is the lack of meaningful interpretation of results by grazing land managers. The Stocktake package includes the new and improved Stocktake GLM app that represents the next generation in grazier decision support tools.
The app is designed for use in the paddock with or without connectivity and features everything a grazier or land manager needs to assist with stocking and monitoring their paddocks. Users can balance supply of available pasture with demand from stock in the paddock to monitor land condition, store their monitoring information, and produce reports for property records. Short-term stocking rates can also be calculated and there is a guide for forage budgeting.
– spatial data mapping, which allows the user to easily locate and pin a grazing property
– updated pasture growth modelling data, land type mapping and adult equivalent information
– ability to store rainfall records
– ability to store stock numbers converted to adult equivalents
– current stock and land condition reports
– ability to record GPS coordinates of monitoring sites
– regionally-specific land type descriptions
– pasture and ground cover photo standards
– accessible yield calculator.
The app uses secure data transfer and storage technology to ensure user information remains private and secure.
If you’re interested in attending a one-day workshop, contact your local beef extension officer, and check our events calendar for scheduled workshops.
The Stocktake package
- Training workshop: a one-day practical training workshop that takes participants through the technical concepts and demonstrates field techniques and Stocktake GLM app use or paper-based calculations.
- Training manual: provided in association with the training workshop, the manual documents the key concepts covered in the training workshop.
- Field assessment system: how field information is collected and organised before it is entered into the database.
- Field recording booklet: a booklet of field recording sheets kept as an original chronological record of field data.