PSC360 Pastures and Rangelands (8)


This subject gives students the opportunity to understand the role and function of pasture and rangeland production systems relevant to agriculture and the equine industry in southern Australia. In addition, it will introduce students to key concepts in plant ecology as related to pasture systems. This subject is presented in a way that will encourage students to conduct experiments, use decision support systems, develop presentation skills and be able to relate to on-farm management issues.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
InternalWagga Wagga Campus
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSC360
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Cannot be taken by students who have completed PSC240 or PSC460
Incompatible subject(s)Related subject(s)
PSC460 PSC460 Subject was replaced by PSC360

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- understand the role of pastures in current farming systems in southern Australia, including horse properties from biological, economic and social perspectives;
- explain the role of climatic, edaphic and management factors that influence the distribution of pasture species;
- explain critical events in the lifecycles of key annual and perennial pasture and rangeland species;
- explain basic concepts in plant ecology as related to pasture and rangeland management such as inter and intraspecific competition, plant populations dynamics and the role of stress and disturbance;
- for specific environments, be able to recommend pasture species mixtures and appropriate establishment methodologies;
- understand basic concepts relating to the nutritive value of pastures for grazing livestock;
- understand the effects of stocking rate and grazing management systems on species survival and pasture/animal production;
- explain the principles that underpin supplementary forage production and the response of grazing animals to supplementation with conserved fodder, forage crops and grain;
- monitor and evaluate pasture/livestock systems with respect to productivity, profitability and sustainability;
- develop pasture maintenance strategies with respect to soil fertility, weed management, control of pasture pests and supplementary irrigation;
- describe the dominant features of rangeland resources and define critical factors in their management;
- identify major pasture and rangeland species;
- develop skills in the estimation of pasture biomass and botanical composition;
- demonstrate an in-depth understanding of a topical issue in pasture and/or rangeland management.


The subject will cover the following topics:
- Pastures and farming systems; - distribution of pasture species and types; - ecology of pasture species; - competition and success in mixed communities; - pasture establishment; - nutritive value of pasture species; - stocking rate and grazing management; - fodder conservation and supplementation; - pasture maintenance; - decision support systems and pasture management; - rangeland management; - practical exercises on the recognition of pasture components including seed, vegetative and reproductive stages;

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. To give hands on teaching of pastures and rangelands. Farm Visits and examination of pastures


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.