Grazing is the biggest land use in the Fitzroy Basin. In fact, eight out of every 10 hectares is used for grazing, which is is why our major centre of Rockhampton is known as the Beef Capital of Australia. Running a great grazing enterprise takes time, money and skill. It’s not easy juggling the competing needs of your landscape and your stock, as well as balancing the books. We can help you improve your profitability while protecting the environment.
Partner with us for a more sustainable beef business
We offer a range of opportunities to help you improve your business’s profitability and long-term sustainability. They include:
- Training Reimbursement Program: Up to 70% of identified training course costs. Capped at $700 per financial year per business
- Market Certification System Audit Reimbursement Program: Up to 70% of audit cost for graziers in the Fitzroy Basin who have completed all five Grazing BMP modules and have then become certified producers in a market-based system. Capped at $700.
- Other time sensitive funding may also be available.
About Grazing Best Management Practices (Grazing BMP)
Grazing BMP is a free, industry-led series of modules that allow you to evaluate your business and develop a plan for improvement. You can work through each self-assessment module on your own or in a relaxed workshop setting with other graziers.
The program is an initiative of FBA, AgForce and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Developed in central Queensland, the modules are based on current research, industry knowledge, and input from graziers. Visit the Grazing BMP website.
Planning, advice and training
We have a network of delivery partners in each major sub-catchment of the Fitzroy Basin, as well as coastal catchments and the Gladstone region that can work with you to:
- Create a property plan with an up-to-date satellite imagery map.
- Give you information and advice on management techniques to reduce erosion, preferential grazing, grow healthier pastures and balance fodder supply with stocking rates.
- Keep you updated on opportunities such as training events that can help you improve the infrastructure or management of your property and stock.
Grazing success stories
Land management tips
Protecting riparian zones
As cattle trudge down soft banks to drink from waterways and feed, they trample on the vegetation and muddy the water. This reduces the quality of water flowing down stream. Controlled access to riparian areas by cattle allows productive use of riparian areas while minimising adverse impacts on land and water.
Stock access to areas adjacent to creeks, rivers and wetlands can be controlled using:
- defined access points
- off -stream watering systems.
Contact us or one of our network of delivery partners for help to start planning changes on your property to position access points, fences and watering points for maximum environmental and productivity gains.
Maintaining high levels of ground cover
Rainfall on bare ground is a major cause of sediment delivery to waterways in the Fitzroy Basin, which reduces water quality downstream and into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. Maintaining high levels of ground cover on grazing lands is essential to keep topsoil in place, and maintain productive, healthy pastures for stock. You can get the knowledge and tools needed to manage ground cover levels appropriate for your property by talking to us.
Ground cover is material up to 30cm above the ground that will break the fall of rain, including plants, grasses and organic litter. The best ground cover is attached organic matter, such as grass tussocks, which can’t easily be removed by wind or water. If you want to get the most out of rainfall, you need ground cover.
Save your soil! High levels of ground cover will drastically reduce erosion on your property.
Studies show that maintaining high ground cover levels significantly reduces erosion. Ground cover is especially important at the end of the dry season, to ensure your land can stay in good condition during the wet.
- Ground cover protects soil and increases rainfall infiltration
- Better rainfall capture means better grass growth, and less run-off
- Less run-off means less soil and chemicals lost into creeks and improved water quality
FBA’s Ground Cover Guide (pdf 2MB) is a handy tool and a great source of information.
Reducing excessive grazing pressure
Graziers are using a range of management techniques to reduce excessive grazing pressure and maintain good land condition including:
- Wet season spelling of paddocks to allow pastures and ground cover to improve.
- Fencing paddocks to land type to enable greater control of stock movement on flats and hill slopes, reduce overgrazing of preferential grasses, and improve ground cover.
- Strategically positioning watering points to reduce distances to water for stock to ensure more even grazing pressure.
- Managing forage supply and demand through careful planning of stocking rates and pasture budgeting techniques.
Fencing to land type makes best use of your landscape
To allow maximum productive use while minimising potential for degradation, land types should be fenced separately. Areas that normally require fences to separate them from other parts of the property include:
- Highly productive areas. Fencing these areas allows maximum use while preventing preferential grazing (and overuse).
- Highly erodible or preferentially grazed areas. Fencing these areas allows cattle to be removed at certain times so pastures can regenerate.
- Land types that have different pasture production capability or palatability. Fencing these areas separately allows appropriate management on each soil type. Examples include different native pasture areas (e.g. Box country from narrow leaf iron bark) and different soil types (e.g. light textured softwood scrub soils and heavier cracking clay brigalow soils).
- Areas with high environmental values. Fencing remnant vegetation, creeks, rivers, springs and waterholes means you can control stock access to maintain biological diversity and support ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, clean water, clean air, windbreaks, natural pest control and aesthetic values.
A comprehensive list of land types on Queensland grazing lands can be found on the Queensland Government’s Future Beef website.
Access to water is vital in good grazing systems
Well-positioned off-stream watering points have many benefits. They can:
- Spread grazing pressure more evenly. Ideally cattle should not have to walk more than 3-4 km for water to achieve uniform grazing pressure.
- Reduce the amount of time cattle spend in streams and water holes, which reduces erosion and improves water quality.
- Provide access to cleaner water, which results in healthier cattle that gain more weight.