Uncovering a Champion Innovator

By Col Feilen

Early in May, we launched a new series called Champions of Grazing Innovation to celebrate those in the community who are charting their own course to success through AgTech innovation. We kicked Champions off with the prolific Stuart Austin from Wilmot Cattle Co. in a Q&A-style webinar that I hosted – you can view the webinar at the end of this blog post.

There was a great deal of interest in this series, and we received a high volume of questions prior and during Stuart’s session. Stuart has very kindly shared his answers to three of those questions here.

Q: What percentage of carrying capacity do you consider comfortable?

Stuart: We find a lot of value in being able to look at our current stocking rate relative to our benchmark carrying capacity and try to stay within range of that line. We have spent quite a bit of time over our benchmark in the last two years, but the important thing was that we were aware of that and kept a close eye on our ecology to ensure we weren’t damaging it by being over our benchmark. Interestingly, when we have been at our highest stocking rate, we have generally had the least cattle on! Which is the hangover you cause by going over the benchmark. So, to answer your question, we do not focus on a percentage, more on the trend of the stocking rate line relative to our benchmark, more than 3 months trending towards it is an indicator for us to take action!

Q: What method do you use to measure pasture into the program?

Stuart: We use Stock Days per Hectare or SDH’s, which I explain in quite a bit of detail in one of my recent Facebook posts on our Wilmot Cattle Co page. The thing I prefer about it is that it deals with only known variables, which are: how many cattle in the mob? What is their LSU rating? How big is the paddock? And, how long did they spend in there? Jim Gerrish says, if you make this calculation 30 times over, you will be 98% accurate, which is far more accurate than any other kind of pasture estimations that are done regularly.

Note: MaiaGrazing is adaptable to all types of pasture measurement entry. So, if you’re not on top of your pasture entry details for whatever reason, you’ll receive a feedback loop on each graze of how much has been removed from the graze – helping you with your estimates. Why not book a MaiaGrazing demonstration or run a trial to see it for yourself?

Q: How have you seen the ecology and pasture change?

Stuart: We have seen very good succession over time in our pastures from weeds, annuals, and less desirable perennials to mostly desirable perennials, w some weeds and some annuals. A biodiversity assessment undertaken 2yrs ago found 74 different species of plans on Wilmot. We have just undertaken another assessment and I am confident that number has increased by approx. 20%.

I hope you’ll be able to join us in our second installment of Champions of Grazing Innovation in mid-June where we will be showcasing the very talented Maddy Pursehouse née Coleman. If you would like to nominate a Champion in your community who is doing great things in grazing, please send us a message at ideas@maiagrazing.com

Watch a replay of Champions of Grazing Innovation 1: Stuart Austin

 

Like to adopt Stuart’s winning ways? Start with MaiaGrazing:

Book a FREE consult

Recent Articles

Cutting the ‘Middle Man’: A RegenAg View on Direct-to-Consumer

30th November 2020

A D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) business model is often a win-win for all parties. As consumers become increasingly aware of their... Read More

Spotlight: Mob Grazing – What is it?

27th November 2020

By Victoria Lawrence Every month, we will spotlight a grazing topic to share with our community such as mob grazing.... Read More

Walk with Me: New Grazier Series

09th November 2020

Walk with Me is a new quarterly series that aims to highlight the challenges that farmers encounter. These challenges... Read More

Inside: RCS Grazing Clinic

06th November 2020

By Alec Duffy Last month, I joined my teammates to attend an RCS Grazing Clinic in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia.... Read More

Panel: How RegenAg Enriches the Food Lifecycle

27th October 2020

We hosted an exciting live panel discussion, How RegenAg Enriches the Food Lifecycle, in partnership with soil carbon management... Read More

RMC X MaiaGrazing Class

12th October 2020

TOPIC - Cow Depreciation: How to Calculate it, and What you Can Do About It Following on from Gaining Economic... Read More

Champions of Grazing Innovation 6: Michael Gooden

07th October 2020

Michael Gooden is a Rotational Grazing advocate who was first introduced to the concept at a 2008 KLR marketing... Read More

Inside: Management-intensive Grazing Workshop

30th September 2020

Earlier this month, Anneliese Walker from our Customer Success team attended a popular Cornerstone Grazing workshop in Nebraska, USA... Read More

Winter is Coming - Jim Gerrish Webinar

14th September 2020

As temperatures drop, graziers need to adjust their grazing accordingly to not only ensure that they can extend the... Read More

Champions of Grazing Innovation: Sam Trethewey

08th September 2020

A highly accomplished and vocal advocate of regenerative agriculture, Sam Trethewey is a third generation Tasmanian farmer and entrepreneur... Read More