This time of year is the one where the grass in the revegetation areas starts to look REALLY good…for us and the cows. And the recent dry conditions make it even more likely to be an option you are considering.
How do you make the decision whether it’s the right time?
- Funding Contracts usually have a stock exclusion period (3-5 years) – check your agreement
- Are the trees and shrubs big enough to withstand a crash graze?
In general, no stock should be put in to revegetation areas in the first three years.
After three years, the decision depend on
- What was planted (are there small shrubs that need the extra time to establish?)
- What stock are you putting in there? Sheep or cattle? Cows, calves or weaners? Lambing ewes? Calving cows? How hungry are they? They all will behave differently – there’s no formula we can give you.
The key question is always how many and for how long?
ANSWER – Higher numbers for a very short time is the best scenario.
Stock behaviour will tell you when it’s time to get them out – when the heads start coming up instead of down! Animals reach a point where they will start to browse and explore rather than eat – even if there is feed left.
In general it will be 2-3 days. Don’t wait until the feed is gone!
Cattle do more damage trampling, knocking over and breaking young revegetation than eating them.
100% groundcover should be maintained (exception may be on steep, rocky hills where not 100% in the first place – 70% might be more realistic)
If stock are eating foliage of the planted vegetation, then they have been in there TOO LONG!
- Posted by Holbrook Landcare Admin
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