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.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

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

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Cannot be taken by students who have completed PSC240 or PSC460

Subject Relationships

PSC460 Subject was replaced by PSC360

Incompatible Subjects


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.


This 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;

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSC360 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Pasture agronomy quiz
Grazing and feed budgeting quiz
Grazing management report
Practical exam
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.To give hands on teaching of pastures and rangelands. Farm Visits and examination of pastures

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: February 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.