Resilient Pasture Landscapes update

The program has supported 74 farmers across the region with pasture coaching and online tools
10th May 2023

The season has changed, and the New England has experienced its first dry summer after three years of La Nina. For farmer participants involved in the Drought Resilient Pasture Landscapes project, navigating this change has been supported by new skills and confidence to make early management decisions after the first round of pasture coaching.
Travelling extensively from Deepwater, near Glen Innes, to south of Walcha, pasture coaches Jaimi-lee Edwards and Professor Lewis Kahn from the University of New England have supported 74 farmers across nine groups, through an on farm process of pasture coaching and using the online tool, Ag360.
“The first round of coaching was all about establishing relationships with the participants as well as trust and confidence in the process and understanding and using Ag360,” said Jaimi-lee.
“As farmers grew more confident in estimating herbage mass in kilograms of dry matter per ha (kg/DM/ha), many participants realised they had been misestimating herbage mass on their properties,” she said.
For Glen Innes participant Ian Firth, the uptake of the Ag360 software tool has increased his confidence in the decisions that he is making.
“The pasture coaching sessions have improved my ability to make more accurate assessments quickly. Together with the Ag360 forecast predictions, it supports the decision making process with data to back up my gut decisions as I visually assess my pastures,” said Ian.
While farmers are increasing their technical skills to manage pastures, for many it is also a welcome opportunity to learn to recognise pasture plants, entertain broad discussions about livestock systems, and increase social connection by regularly seeing neighbours and friends at coaching sessions.
Participant Andy Burwell from the South Walcha group noted that the peer-to-peer learning in the paddock has been excellent.
“I enjoy seeing what other farm enterprises are doing, discussing grazing management and production processes as well as comparing the pastures,” Andy said.
The second round of coaching sessions we will be analysing the feed budget forecast specifics for each property. An important role of Ag360 is to incorporate climate forecasts into feed budgets. and Participants will also be evaluating the accuracy of the climate and pasture forecasts, and how this information helped with decision making for the coming 6 months.
The Drought Resilient Pasture Landscapes Project is being delivered by the University of New England in partnership with Southern New England Landcare Ltd and GLENRAC Inc. This project received funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.
It is a project of scale that aims to increase the uptake of drought resilient land management practices with a focus on pasture management.
Farmers will see on-farm results over the course of the 18 months of coaching in a number of key metrics aside from better pasture production, including improved groundcover, increased soil organic matter, improved water infiltration, reduced erosion and fewer weeds.
For more information on the Drought Resilient Pasture Landscapes project or for news of upcoming field days and events, resources and links, please visit