Orange Agricultural Institute

Orange, Australia

Orange Agricultural Institute

Orange, Australia
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Badgery W.B.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Millar G.D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Broadfoot K.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Michalk D.L.,Graham Center for Agricultural Innovation | And 3 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2017

Native pastures account for approximately half the grazing area of the high-rainfall zone of southern Australia and the appropriate intensity of grazing management to improve pasture production and to sustain native species composition is still debated. This paper describes differences in pasture herbage mass, ground cover and composition for a native pasture managed under three distinct grazing-management intensities (1-, 4- and 20-paddock grazing systems). Grazing-management treatments were implemented for 4 years across a variable landscape and the interaction of grazing management and landscape position (high-, medium- and low-production zones) were examined. Increasing the intensity of grazing management (number of paddocks in the grazing system) resulted in higher standing, green and litter herbage mass and ground cover of pastures, with differences most pronounced in the high-production zone where selective grazing was regulated with grazing management. Landscape position largely influenced pasture composition, with higher pasture production and more productive species (e.g. Microlaena stipoides, Lolium rigidum and legumes) in the high-production zone. Small increases in the DM of native perennial grasses and lower levels of legumes and broad-leaf weeds developed in the 20-paddock system compared with grazing in 1- and 4-paddock systems. Net pasture growth was higher in the 20-paddock than 1-paddock treatment during spring in the last 2 years of the experiment, resulting in 21% (1.6 t DM/ha) more herbage mass accumulated over the year. While productivity and cover were higher under intensive rotational grazing, grazing management had little influence on pasture composition. A stable perennial pasture (>70% perennial grasses) stocking rates that were not degrading and the strong influence of landscape on pasture composition limited management influences. Practically, the results indicated that, at the same stocking rate, increasing the intensity of grazing management can increase the average pasture herbage mass, ground cover and pasture growth by more evenly distributing grazing. © CSIRO 2017.


Badgery W.B.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Mitchell D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Millar G.D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Broadfoot K.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | And 3 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2017

Grazing-system experiments address complex interactions among animals, pastures, soils, climate and management. As part of the national EverGraze program, a grazing-system experiment was designed to determine how the intensity of grazing management, from continuous grazing (P01) to flexible 4- and 20-paddock rotational systems (P04 and P20), influences the profitability and sustainability of a Merino ewe, terminal sire, lamb production system grazed on heterogeneous native pastures. When implementing such an experiment, it is important to understand and characterise landscape variability, and include this in the design of the experiment. A second challenge for grazing-system research is to operate experimental systems with sufficient flexibility to adequately represent commercial production systems and maintain even utilisation across treatments. The present paper addresses the following two issues: (1) the process used to characterise the potential productivity of variable native pastures and the results of this characterisation; and (2) the development of flexible systems that adequately represent commercial production within an experiment. This was undertaken with input from a project-steering committee called the EverGraze Regional Group, comprising producers, extension staff and private consultants. Prior to the commencement, the site was mapped into three production zones, namely, high (HPZ), medium (MPZ) and low (LPZ), by visually estimating green herbage mass in late spring and marking boundaries between zones with a GPS. The production zones represented differences in soil properties (gravel, pH and available P) and pasture composition, and were used to balance potential production among plots within the same replication. Grazing-system options were evaluated using the sustainable grazing systems pasture model to help choose an appropriate starting stocking rate. The initial stocking rate chosen for the spring-lambing systems was 5.4 ewes/ha. The modelling predicted large variations in feed availability and quality over summer among years; flexible management criteria were therefore developed, including variable sale time for lambs, to utilise the greater feed supply in better seasons. Minimum-pasture benchmarks (>0.8 t DM/ha standing herbage mass and >80% ground cover) and variable green herbage-mass targets were designed to sustain high levels of livestock production and prevent pasture degradation. Criteria for adjusting ewe numbers were developed, but were constrained to pre-joining (March), scanning (July) and post-weaning (December), being consistent with commercial practices. The experiment incorporated flexible management rules as these were considered integral to the successful management of commercial grazing systems. © CSIRO 2017.


Mitchell D.C.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Badgery W.B.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Cranney P.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Broadfoot K.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | And 2 more authors.
Animal Production Science | Year: 2017

It has been proposed that changes to grazing systems, from continuous to rotational grazing, alter the pasture mass and composition, which are reflected in changes to stored soil water. Additionally, in highly variable landscapes, determining whether the variation in soil water is due to the inherent landscape properties rather than the imposed grazing management has long been a contentious argument. To address this question, soil moisture was measured across a highly variable landscape under three differing grazing treatments (1-, 4- and 20-paddock systems). From the soil-water measurements, plant-available water and plant-available water capacity were determined. Different production zones (high, medium and low) were identified in the landscape by visually estimating green herbage mass in late spring. There were no observed differences in the measured plant-available water capacity across the grazing treatments; however, significant differences occurred in plant-available water capacity across the three production zones (high-production zone, 114 mm; medium-production zone, 102 mm; low-production zone, 88 mm) within the study period. There appears to be a trend between the plant-available water capacity and near-surface gravel content as measured in production zones. The high production zones held more plant-available water than did the low production zones, enabling more biomass and longer pasture growth during spring and autumn. The plant-available water in the low production zones significantly decreased with time. In all, 22 of the 50 soil-moisture monitoring locations displayed high temporal stability and were identified as being catchment-average soil water-content monitoring locations. A majority of these locations occurred in the medium production zone, demonstrating that representative soil moisture can be measured in these landscapes. © CSIRO 2017.


Badgery W.B.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Millar G.D.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Michalk D.L.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Cranney P.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Broadfoot K.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Animal Production Science | Year: 2017

The intensity of grazing management required for optimal pasture and animal production from heterogeneous native grasslands has received little research in the high-rainfall zone of south-eastern Australia. The aim of this experiment was to determine how the intensity of grazing management, from continuous grazing (P01) to flexible 4- and 20-paddock rotational systems (P04 and P20), influenced the productivity and sustainability of a Merino ewe, terminal sire lamb production system run on a native grassland dominated by Microlaena stipoides and Rytidosperma spp. The present paper focuses on the animal production and feed-quality results from this experiment. There was a higher per head animal production for the P01 than the P20, with the P04 being intermediate. The differences were found for ewe liveweight and fat score, lamb growth rates and lamb liveweight at weaning. The P20 was able to run higher ewe numbers, in response to greater feed on offer than for P04 and P01, which enabled lamb production per hectare at weaning to be similar and greasy wool production per hectare to be greater than for P01. The organic matter digestibility of the ewe diet estimated from faecal analysis was lower for P20 and P04 systems than for P01 over a 7-month period and explained differences measured in sheep performance at that time. When lambs were retained after weaning, they could be kept for longer on the P20 and grown to a greater weight than for the P01 and P04, but the criteria for setting stocking rates and selling lambs from systems influenced the production from the systems. Further work is needed to investigate the interaction between stocking rate (ewe numbers and lamb sale time) and grazing management and examine different options for managing rotational grazing systems. © CSIRO 2017.


The genus Diemoides Evans is revised and transferred from the tribe Paralimnini to the tribe Scaphoideini. New species added are Diemoides smithersi sp. nov., D. linnavuorii sp. nov., D. sueshephardae sp. nov., D. chevron sp. nov., D. sagittatus, sp. nov., D. brunneus sp. nov., D. storeyi sp. nov. and D. anomalus sp. nov. D. smithtoniensis is redescribed. All species are illustrated and a key provided for their identification. A key for the identification of the genera of Scaphoideini occurring in Australia is also provided.


McLeod S.R.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Pople A.R.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2010

The objectives of this study were to predict the potential distribution, relative abundance and probability of habitat use by feral camels in southern Northern Territory. Aerial survey data were used to model habitat association. The characteristics of 'used' (where camels were observed) v. 'unused' (pseudo-absence) sites were compared. Habitat association and abundance were modelled using generalised additive model (GAM) methods. The models predicted habitat suitability and the relative abundance of camels in southern Northern Territory. The habitat suitability maps derived in the present study indicate that camels have suitable habitat in most areas of southern Northern Territory. The index of abundance model identified areas of relatively high camel abundance. Identifying preferred habitats and areas of high abundance can help focus control efforts. © Australian Rangeland Society 2010.


Russell B.G.,Pest Management Unit | Letnic M.,University of Western Sydney | Fleming P.J.S.,Orange Agricultural Institute
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2011

Feral goats are a significant threat to biodiversity in Australia. However, goats are also harvested by some landholders for commercial benefit and this can lead to disagreements regarding control techniques. In the rangelands of New South Wales, feral goat distribution is closely linked to artificial watering points (AWP) such as tanks and bores. Previous surveys indicated that goat activity was rare more than 4km from water. We hypothesised that constructing sections of goat-proof fencing in areas where goats were feeding on National Parks but watering on neighbouring properties, such that they had to travel more than 4km from the AWP to access the park, would result in a significant decrease in goat abundance in these areas. We tested this hypothesis in Paroo-Darling National Park, Gundabooka State Conservation Area and Gundabooka National Park using changes in index (fresh goat dung groups per 100-m transect). We also measured kangaroo dung and ground cover index changes. Twelve months after the fences were constructed, goat dung significantly declined compared with non-treatment areas and the relationship between distance to water and goat dung broke down at the treatment sites. Kangaroo indices were not affected by the fences. The results for bare ground were the same as for goat dung, with significantly less bare ground and a breakdown in the relationship with distance to water at the treatment sites after the fences were constructed, but this was due to a corresponding increase in litter rather than live vegetation. This technique can be a significant tool for protecting biodiversity from feral goats, without removing the potential for neighbouring landholders to harvest the goats. If strategically used to create zones free of resident goats around the boundaries of conservation reserves, it should increase the effectiveness of other techniques such as trapping, mustering and shooting, by reducing post-control reinvasion. Recognition of access to water as an important management tool should substantially improve our management of feral goats in the rangelands. © 2011 Australian Rangeland Society.


Hatcher S.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Atkins K.D.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Safari E.,Flinders University
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2010

Direct and maternal components of variance for lamb survival to birth, 7 d, and weaning (110 d) were estimated by REML procedures in a flock of Australian Merino sheep. A total of 14,142 lambs, the progeny of 421 sires and 3,666 dams, born between 1975 and 1983 were available for analysis. The study has produced some of the most precise estimates of genetic parameters for lamb survival in the Australian Merino. Very low heritabilities for lamb viability (0.03) and the performance of the dam or ewe rearing ability (0.07) suggest that genetic solutions to lamb survival are unlikely to be significant. But, despite the low heritabilities, there is still potential for improvement through selective breeding. The estimated repeatability of at least 0.10 shows that multiple records on the rearing ability of a ewe over its lifetime can increase selection accuracy. More importantly, such repeatabilities indicate that current generation improvement can be achieved by culling ewes from the breeding flock with poor rearing ability. Despite maternal bond score and lamb birth weight being highly repeatable and moderately heritable traits, correlations with lamb survival were essentially zero. These traits therefore have no value as indirect selection criteria for Merino lamb survival. © 2010 American Society of Animal Science.


Gnezdilov V.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Fletcher M.J.,Orange Agricultural Institute
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

A new species of the planthopper family Issidae, with a feature which appears to mimic small salticid spiders, is described as Chlamydopteryx mammoides sp. nov., from Queensland, Australia. Phaeopteryx Kirkaldy, 1907 is placed in synonymy under Chlamydopteryx Kirkaldy, 1907, creating the new combination Chlamydopteryx sidnicus (Kirkaldy). Tetrica scapularis Jacobi, 1928 is transferred to the genus Orinda Kirkaldy as Orinda scapularis comb. nov. and Orinda bimaculifrons Jacobi, 1928 to the genus Chlamydopteryx as Chlamydopteryx bimaculifrons comb. nov. Some new records for Australian Issidae are given. A key to the described Australian issid genera is given, along with a checklist of described species. Copyright © 2010 Magnolia Press.


Toohey E.S.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | Kerr M.J.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries | van de Ven R.,Orange Agricultural Institute | Hopkins D.L.,Industry and Investment NSW Primary Industries
Meat Science | Year: 2011

The effectiveness of a kiwi fruit based solution for improving the tenderness of beef m. semimembranosus and the effect on colour stability was studied. Three treatments were applied; (1) injection with the solution, (2) injection with water and (3) no injection. All samples were packaged using a SmartShape™ prototype and aged for 1 or 14. days. There was a significant effect (P< 0.001) of the kiwi fruit solution on shear force, with no difference between samples injected with water and those not injected. For compression of the samples no fixed effects were significant (P> 0.05). Samples not injected (control) were the darkest (lowest L* values) with no difference between samples injected with water and those injected with kiwi fruit solution. Injected samples had lower a* (redness) values than non-injected samples. In general the samples not injected had higher ratio (630/580. nm) values indicating less formation of metmyoglobin. © 2011.

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