Grain and Graze 2

Southern NSW

The Grain and Graze 2 program is operating in seven regions across the mixed farming zone or wheat/sheep belt of Australia and is engaging with farmers and advisers through farm research activities, demonstration trials, field days, workshops and publications. Grain and Graze 2 is coordinated by the Grains Research and Development Corporation and is partly funded by GRDC and the Australian Government's Caring for our Country initiative. The partners have invested a combined $12 million into the program for a period of four years up to 2014 supported by farmer levies and matched by the Australian Government. Funding and support from regional project partners including state departments and farming systems groups has boosted the total program investment to $25 million. 

This project will be a collaboration between a number of organisations in the FarmLink region. It will build on existing networks, be farmer driven and the coordinated discussions will tackle in-depth, the issues of resilience, complexity and adaptive management required to ensure a profitable mixed farming business.

Project Focus Areas for the NSW Southern region;

  • Growing Biomass - Perennial Shrubs – Alley Farming

A mini farm research site using belts of old man saltbush and cereal crop were established during G&G I at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station. The project was designed to enable direct up-scaling of findings to commercial farming operations. Grain and Graze 2 will build on these findings and provide statistically significant data investigating both animal and saltbush performance.

  • Using Biomass - Grazing crops in variable rainfall areas

This project will see further extension of the significant amount of grazing crops work done during G&G I into lower rainfall areas. In these areas pasture establishment and persistence has been poor, and dual purpose crops are seen as having potential to provide grazing during the winter feed gap. The trials will investigate the effects of grazing cereals on animal performance and grain recovery.

  • Transition - Optimising the pasture species

Varying results of under sowing has raised interest in the economics and agronomics of alternative establishment methods and pasture mixes. The trials will investigate different pasture establishment techniques such as, twin sowing, under sowing, straight sowing, as well as others; for a range of pasture species when exiting the cropping phase.

  • Pasture cropping

Will evaluate the merits of pasture cropping in the higher rainfall areas of southern NSW and under which enterprise mix it will potentially provide the most benefit.

  • Biological Solutions - Grazing strategies to reduce weed input costs

This trial will investigate the use of livestock to control weeds. The use of grazing will be examined in summer fallow situations on its own and in use with herbicides.  The impacts of both techniques will be assessed on the following crop and stubble.

  • Adaptive management

This project will explore the hard questions facing mixed farmers when juggling enterprises through group activities, farm studies and modelling exercises. These activities will address the groups own questions, providing numbers and information to make more robust decisions.

Publications

Mixed Farming Forum 2013

Presentations made at the 2013 Mixed Farming Forum, proudly supported by Grain and Graze 2.

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