Turning leaf into beef – Part 1: Key principles

Turning leaf into beef? Direct grazing or ‘stand and graze’ of irrigated pastures in northern Australia can be highly productive. The combination of warm temperatures year-round, high solar radiation, and water and nutrients is a recipe for very high pasture growth rates. However, the sweet spot for optimal feed quality and yield is narrow. Both under-grazing and over-grazing cost cattle growth rates and the bottom line. Therefore, management is key to successfully and profitably grazing irrigated pastures in northern Australia.

The Northern Beef Project has developed a series of videos to highlight best management practice for grazing irrigated pastures. These practices include understanding how cattle graze tropical pastures, creating a grazing plan, monitoring weight gain and addressing other limiting factors.

Grazing irrigated pastures in northern Australia has three parts which will be shared over the coming months on FutureBeef:

  • Part 1 – Key principles
  • Part 2 – Best management practice
  • Part 3 – Troubleshooting

The video below discusses the key principles for understanding and optimising beef production under irrigation. It explores the distinctions between temperate and tropical grasses and how cattle graze tropical pastures, clarifies the best pasture options for stand-and-graze, and the nitrogen fertiliser requirements to drive production.