AGRI5508 Sustainable Grazing Systems

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
The focus of this unit is on grazing systems that produce healthy animals and high quality products using the principles of clean, green and ethical animal production. Topics include the efficiency of feed utilisation, matching feed supply to animal needs to improve reproductive efficiency, benefits of plant diversity and how grazing behaviour and learned responses of animals can be used to manage diversity. There is a focus on the ability of grazing systems to be profitable but also contribute to healthy landscapes through the use of novel plants to improve water use, nutrient flows and soil erosion, and animal health through the provision of shade, shelter, control of gastrointestinal nematodes and reduced methane production for livestock. The unit consists of three blocks of two-day sessions (including a field trip to the UWA Future Farm at Pingelly). This unit is essential for all students interested in a career in agricultural science, meeting the challenge of developing profitable production systems and managing risk in the face of increased climate variability. It is also relevant for students with an interest in natural resource management.
Students are able to (1) understand how soils, water, animals, plants and livestock interact in a grazing system; (2) know how grazing systems can be managed to improve livestock production in an environmentally sustainable way; (3) gain experience with identifying components of a grazing system in the field; (4) write a consultancy report; (5) present an oral presentation to the class; and (6) demonstrate critical thinking at a farming systems scale.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) field trip attendance; (2) consultancy report; and (3) oral presentation on report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Philip Vercoe
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Agricultural Science (72510)
the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
Contact hours
total workload: 150 hours
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