Growing with Grazing Matcher

Kylie (right) and Kevin Silverthorne (centre, back to camera) learning about condition scoring ewes at their Rosa Glen property.

Rosa Glen sheep producer Kevin Silverthorne can’t help but feel a bit proud as he watches his daughter Kylie grow as a farmer. He attributes at least some of her development to the 12-month Grazing Matcher program that both Kylie and Kevin have taken part in since May 2020.

Grazing Matcher supports groups of livestock producers to improve grazing, fodder and feed decisions for increased productivity and efficiency.

“It’s made Kylie more interested in farming and the nitty gritty of rotational grazing,” Kevin said recently. “It’s really good to see the younger generation taking it on. The $600 (subscription fee per business) is nothing compared to what she gets out of it.”

Kylie is already seeing benefits from the program with a reduction in worm egg counts, which she has monitored since buying a microscope in March.

“Since starting rotational grazing we’ve noticed less worms because the grass is only eaten down to 4-6 cm. The worms don’t travel up that far, so they don’t pick up enough worms for drenching which is really good, especially because we were seeing resistance to the drench.

“Also, we’re resting paddocks, so it allows the grass to regrow, and I’ve grown more grass because they haven’t eaten it too low.”

Kylie says the Grazing Matcher program, delivered by livestock consultant Jeisane Accioly and agronomist Dan Parnell, has shown her how to set up a rotational grazing plan, target and monitor ewe condition, and much more. However, the opportunity to network with other businesses taking part in the program is just as beneficial.

“It’s been really interesting going around to other people’s farms as well and getting their insight and seeing what they’re doing. That motivates you to make changes.”

Kevin agrees. “Just going along and talking to other farmers and seeing what they do.  Everyone’s adapting and doing it a little bit differently.”

“It’s made a massive impact,” Kylie says. “And we’ve only just touched on it this year.”

Watch the video below to hear more from Kylie and Kevin.

Four new Grazing Matcher groups are commencing in autumn 2021 in the South West and South Coast. Only one place remains in the South West Catchments area. To learn more or join the program, contact Peter Clifton at South West Catchments Council on (08) 9724 2400 or [email protected].

Grazing Matcher is supported by South West Catchments Council, through funding by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program; Profitable Grazing Systems, an MLA initiative; Healthy Estuaries WA, a State Government, Royalties for Regions program; and Revitalising Geographe Waterways.

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