Grazing Land in ‘A” Condition is Stable and Resilient

Level 1 General description


This study investigated the changes in a number of landscape stability parameters when an area of land is subject to high pressure grazing. It also assessed the benefits of maintaining land in “A” condition.

Methods (brief)

The six year grazing trial took place between 1994 – 2001 on Ironbark (Eucalyptus melanophloia) pastures at Rubyvale, Central Queensland. Estimates of animal intake and modelled pasture growth were used to calculate pasture utilisation. Land condition was estimated using the definitions of Chilcott et al. (2004), where “A” pasture condition is based on the density of 3P grasses and “A” soil condition has no evidence of sheeting, scalding, rills or gullies. Land condition also includes the ability of land to respond to rain and produce useful forage.

Key findings (brief)

Under the high grazing pressure treatments, land runoff, soil movement and pasture utilisation increased and perennial grass basal cover, ground cover, pasture yield and land condition decreased. 3P grass was the only landscape stability parameter not affected by high grazing pressure.

The maintenance of 3P grass density and some basal cover enabled landscape stability to improve rapidly in the 1998-99 year when there was low pasture utilisation and good rainfall. This demonstrates one of the benefits of maintenance of land in “A” condition. The stability and resilience of the land is maintained, together with the ability to respond to rain and produce useful forage.


Ironbark (Eucalyptus melanophlia) pastures at Rubyvale, Central Queensland.

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Level 2, level 3, level 4 and level 5