Managing Pastures in Dry Conditions
Managing ryegrass well throughout dry periods – particularly the residual height – is critical to boost the persistence of pasture.
Some of the key considerations when managing grazing residuals during dry conditions are:
- Restrict grazing as cows tend to graze lower than four to six centimetres in dry conditions where feed is likely short elsewhere
- Maintaining the residuals at 4cm to 6cm would help retain soil moisture close to the surface and create protection from high temperatures
- Retaining some green material – green stems or green pseudo stems – throughout drier times will help survival and regrowth of pastures
For more information, download the Managing pasture paddocks in dry conditions fact sheet.
Drying off perennial ryegrass pastures
Drying off perennial ryegrass over summer and re-starting them again in the autumn can provide savings in years when water is scarce. This strategy is likely to be more relevant as an option in regions like northern Victoria, where irrigation water availability may be limited or cost prohibitive.
The success of this strategy will depend on a number of factors such as summer rainfall, soil types, species, residual pasture, grazing management and oversowing.
While there is no guarantee of success, the chances of getting the pasture back into production quickly in autumn and for a minimal cost will be greatly improved if there are favourable summer conditions and a combination of management strategies for re-establishment of pasture are applied.
For more information, download the Drying off irrigated perennial pastures over summer fact sheet.
managing pasture paddocks in dry conditionsPDF, 110.74 KB
Drying off perennial ryegrass pasture factsheetPDF, 150.38 KB