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Project name Remote sensing informed sheep grazing of improved pastures, and integrated management, to assist Lowland Themeda Grassland and Woodland regeneration at Okehampton
Funding bodies Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Lead researcher Dr Matthew Harrison
Partners Rockpool Land & Water Services Pty Ltd
Chief Investigators Dr J Whitehead; Dr I Ara

This project will focus on improving the timing of rotational sheep grazing, with respect to pasture composition, biomass and leaf emergence. This will improve non-native Phalaris pasture utilization and productivity by ~20% over set grazing.

Sheep will selectively graze the most palatable plants first within any given area, and as such can be moved on before Phalaris pastures are damaged and grazing pressure shifts to unfenced bush remnants containing threatened vegetation communities.

Remote sensing can enable offsite monitoring of grazing pressure on improved and native pasture and thus improve management efficiencies.

Remote sensing can help inform of preferred times for rotational grazing, as both under- and over-utilization penalizes livestock productivity, is detrimental to the environment and inhibits vegetation recovery post grazing.

The outcomes will improve grassy vegetation cover and increase resilience from climate change induced high intensity rainfall and runoff causing soil erosion.

The project is led by Rockpool Land & Water Services Pty Ltd.