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Filename IN2.1.011-G-Page-Trial-Report_FINAL-2.pdf
Filesize 2 MB
Version 1
Date added 14 June, 2018
Downloaded 85 times
Category Case Studies, Sustainable Agriculture
Tags Australian; trial; report; shrubs; farm management; Enrich; grazing; pasture; Dean; Revell; Garry; Page; Bittleyonge;
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Trial Report – Incorporation of perennial Australian shrubs into whole-farm management

This project supported, for the first time, a whole-farm demonstration of an Enrich farming system, which incorporates native perennial shrubs and mixed pasture species.

The grazing system was demonstrated at sufficient scale (about 10% of the farm area) to optimise profitability.

The project drew upon a decade of research and coupled it with the commercial and production expertise of the host producer, Garry Page.

Perennial shrubs and pasture were successfully established and, within 12 months of establishment, contributed positively by reducing supplementary feed costs by about 20% and increasing sheep numbers and production by at least 10%.

Costs of adoption were high, approaching $1,400/ha when taking into account the full costs of shrub seedlings, pasture seed, fertiliser, fencing, watering points, earthworks and contracted labour.

This is higher than plot-scale trials have indicated because it includes the extra, but real, costs that occur with commercial farming and adoption at scale. Other farming enterprises may not have such high costs, depending on their circumstances, such as fencing requirements and other improvements such as watering points for livestock.

However, calculating adoption costs under commercial conditions is critically important information that this project has been able to provide.

Importantly, even with high upfront costs, the rate of return in investment was 40%, with a payback period of less than 3 years. Once established, an Enrich forage system is expected to contribute over the longer-term (15-20 years) to whole-farm profitability and to reduced risks associated with poor seasonal conditions and a changing climate.

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