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7 October 2014 Developing the role of perennial forages for crop–livestock farms: a strategic multi-disciplinary approach
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Developing new and improved grazing systems for crop–livestock farms where crop production is the major driver of farm management decisions presents a unique research and development challenge. In southern Australia, a substantial proportion of animal production from grazing comes from regions and farms where cropping is the major enterprise. In this paper, we describe a multi-disciplinary farming-systems research approach (EverCrop) aimed at improving farm profitability, risk management and environmental impacts through the development and integration of new grazing options with an emphasis on perennial species. It has been used to analyse and target new opportunities for farmers to benefit from perennial species across dry Mediterranean-type and temperate regions of southern Australia. It integrates field experimentation, on-farm trialling, farmer participatory research, soil–plant–climate biophysical modelling, whole-farm bioeconomic analysis and evaluations of adoptability. Multi-functional roles for summer-active grasses with winter cropping, integration of forage shrubs and establishment of new mixes of perennial grasses in crop rotations to improve farming system performance are identified, along with an analysis of factors likely to affect rate of uptake by farmers.

© CSIRO 2014
Rick S. Llewellyn, Michael J. Robertson, Richard C. Hayes, David Ferris, Katrien Descheemaeker, and Clinton Revell "Developing the role of perennial forages for crop–livestock farms: a strategic multi-disciplinary approach," Crop and Pasture Science 65(10), 945-955, (7 October 2014).
Received: 9 April 2014; Accepted: 1 August 2014; Published: 7 October 2014

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