Warning: don’t eat these seedlings!

Mitchell grass seedlingsRecord rain in parts of Central Australia has led to a rare, mass germination event! This doesn’t happen very often and seedlings like these are key to the next 20 years of pasture. Parts of the Barkly have also had a promising start to the wet. Definitely time to get out, have a look, and if germination has occurred, take some practical steps to look after the grasses.

It’s a myth that our landscapes just bounce back when it rains, particularly after drought.

It takes time for plants to become strong enough to cope with grazing.

The good news is that getting pasture management right this summer will help set you up for the future. Did you know that letting these seedlings grow into mature plants could double your carrying capacity over the next ten years?

Check out these articles for more information on management implications for a wet summer.

Central Australia: Understanding the rainfall forecast for summer 2020 – Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade

Barkly (page 13 has photos of safe grazing levels): Managing Mitchell grass (PDF, 15MB)

Other resources

Wet season spelling with Ben Bennetto, ‘Virginia Park’, Charters Towers and Karl McKellar (video)

Wet season spelling in the Northern Gulf (case study)