GrassGro helps analyse opportunities and risks that variable weather imposes on the profitability and sustainability of grazing systems.
In grazing systems there are always a number of alternative management strategies that may be implemented to potentially improve the profitability of the enterprise. Effective decision making by graziers requires a broad knowledge base with expertise required in a range of disciplines (eg. animal health and nutrition, agronomy, economics, marketing etc.). There is the added difficulty of managing the interaction of these disciplines in Australia’s highly variable climate. Computer models that simulate grazing enterprises are a powerful way to analyse the feasibility, profitability and risks of alternative management options.
GrassGro is a unique decision support tool which can help graziers:
Test new management methods before committing resources.
GrassGro 3 provides a completely new interface for the user providing easier, faster analysis of grazing systems.
It is now straightforward to tailor descriptions of sheep and beef enterprises
Inclusion of a unique capacity to test management options as a season develops
There are pre-designed issues for analysis
Access to constantly updated weather inputs
Evaluation of possible longer term shifts in weather patterns
GrassGro is used to examine variability in pasture and animal production for sheep and beef enterprises. By testing management options against a wide range of seasons, farmers and resource managers can achieve more profitable and sustainable utilisation of grasslands to fit a unique combination of weather, soils, pastures and livestock at a particular location.
GrassGro is capable of analysing the performance of different grazing enterprises: wether flocks for wool and meat, ewe flocks for wool or prime lamb production, lamb finishing, beef
breeding and steer finishing.
It is a robust tool based on decades of field experimentation from across Australia. Now GrassGro 3 has a powerful easy to use interface with inputs of historical daily weather data that drive models of the interacting processes of pasture growth and animal production. Day to day changes in water content of soil, pasture growth and decay and responses to grazing are simulated for a chosen sheep or cattle enterprise.
This flexible and powerful tool can be applied to a broad range of issues at both a farm and regional scale.
- Assessment of land capability and production benchmarking
- Real time review of management tactics during the current season
- testing long term decisions about herd or flock management
- Resource sustainability:
- ground cover, water balance, nutrient deficiency
- Drought management and climate variability scenarios
- Location testing:
- pasture types, animal bloodlines, enterprise analysis
- Financial testing – tactical and strategic:
- stocking rate, calving and lambing dates, supplementary feed policy,
- market specification for livestock,
- Supply chain analysis
GrassGro as a tactical management tool.
GrassGro is an effective strategic management tool however, it is also highly effective for tactical decisions. With the facility to download up to the date weather data from the Bureau of Meteorology records, tactical simulations can be carried out on a regular basis using current data.
Better outcomes can be achieved from informed and timely management actions. The GrassGro decision support tool can help producers and their advisors review scenarios rapidly and minimise emerging risks by revising decisions as the season unfolds.
In the following example a hypothetical fine wool merino enterprise in Victoria, with a poor spring season, is explored. Three key decision points are examined over a period from October to the following April. Click on the "What's ahead" text to view the example.
Whats ahead? successive seasonal outlooks for your farm