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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries 258 PROJECT: Developing Sustainable Grazing Management Strategies for the Semi-arid Tropics of the Northern Territory Project Officers: R. Dyer, L. Cafe, R. Cowley and M. Cobiac Project Location: Katherine/VRD Objective: To ensure that by 2001, throughout the VRD and Sturt Plateau regions of the Northern Territory 90% of players in the pastoral industry are aware of the importance of sustainable grazing management practices; and 50% of pastoral leases have partially or completely adopted relevant sustainable grazing management practices. Background: The first phase of this Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) funded project has been developing effective burning strategies to control native woody shrubs, understanding the competitive relationship between trees, shrubs and pastures and to develop pasture growth models that can be used to investigate effects of stocking rates and carrying capacity. This has involved extensive collection of data. Continuing work between 1997 and 2001 has aimed to include many review recommendations and focuses on incorporating available data and information into simple management guidelines that fit into whole property management. The project is currently nearing completion, and the final report will be completed by December 2001. To ensure effective technology transfer and promotion of management systems several approaches will be taken in six subprojects. Results: 1. Better Understanding and Management of Native Pastures in the VRD Critical growth parameters for important pasture communities throughout the Katherine region are now available. These have been incorporated into pasture growth models and can be run in WinGRASP, a Windows based software application that allows seasonal fluctuations of growth to be simulated based on these growth parameters and daily climate records. Differences between communities, soil types, pasture condition and rainfall zone on seasonal pasture production and factors that limit growth can now be investigated. These models are required to investigate seasonal reliability of pasture production, fuel load accumulation and estimation of both short-term and long-term stocking rates. Much of this information has been utilised in the MLA Grazing Land Management learning project. 2. Economic assessment of Grazing Management Options A framework for investigating the ecological and economic impacts of a range of fire regimes has been developed in conjunction with CSIRO. During this year two workshops were conducted involving DPIF, CSIRO, AGWEST, and BFC NT where model outputs from FLAMES, GRASP and ARENA models have been integrated. A final workshop is planned before the end of the year to complete the project and produce a report. 3. Assessment of Stocking Rates and Carrying Capacity for Pastoral Properties An integrated, database-GIS software package has been developed for the calculation of current property and paddock stocking rates and estimation of safe carrying capacities based on land type. This allows the production of reports (SR_Calc) and maps (SR_Map) of property map units, paddocks types, stocking rates and carrying capacity. Additional software extensions allow the impact of new paddocks, paddock subdivision on carrying capacity to be investigated. Tools have also been developed to determine the area within certain distance bands to water and examine the impact of water point number and placement. Data from Kidman Springs, VRD, Wave Hill, Auvergne and Bunda stations are currently incorporated into this system.