Queensland Government, RCS & CHRRUP: Improving grazing practices to reduce run-off to the Reef

The Queensland Government, in partnership with Resource Consulting Services (RCS) and CHRRUP Limited, has been using different approaches to help  Fitzroy and Belyando graziers make best use of their pasture to improve land condition and water quality.

Knowing that ’you need grass to grow grass’, CHRRUP’s innovative approach uses graziers as trainers who draw upon their pasture management experience. They have developed forage budgets for 30 landholders managing around 125,000 hectares. Forage budgets help graziers understand how much grass is available, how much should be left after grazing and how this can be achieved through managing stock numbers in paddocks.

Landholders have valued the knowledge being shared by fellow land managers who use forage budgets on their own land and understand the benefits. The aim is to match the stocking rate to the land’s carrying capacity and leave the land in a state that will respond when rain falls. This helps keep the rain in the soil and the soil in the paddock, minimising runoff to local waterways that flow to the Reef.

The Grassroots project centres on RCS’s extensive agricultural and educational experience. It is supporting 34 landholders in the Fitzroy and neighbouring catchments to implement farm practices based on regenerative agriculture principles and improve their business practices. Graziers are assigned an RCS advisor to support and implement a range of activities including tailored property infrastructure to keep rainwater in the paddock, improved pasture use, and matching stocking rate to carrying capacity across more than 149,000 hectares.

Grassroots has established district grazier groups, building communities of likeminded producers to share information and experiences. This has resulted in improved financial and land condition outcomes for graziers and water quality benefits for the rivers and Reef.