PSC236 Pasture Production and Utilisation (8)

This subject focusses on the management and utilisation of pastures across a range of ecosystems. The various components will be identified, described, analysed and integrated to develop an annual supply of forage. The suitability and utilisation of pastures will be matched to animal needs, nutrition and health. Grazing management systems and fodder conservation will be investigated and assessed for livestock and pasture systems. A series of activities have been designed to develop the ability to apply a range of skills in a practical situation.

Prior to enrolling in this subject it is assumed that you would have the basic knowledge of plant science equivalent to that taught in AGR156 Plants in Agriculture and AHT101 Professional Skills in Ag & Hort, particularly the aspects related to pasture mixtures, pasture establishment, climate and weather.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

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

Assumed Knowledge

It is assumed that students have gained the basic knowledge of plant science, aspects related to pasture mixtures and pasture establishment, and climate and weather, prior to enrolling in this subject

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to discuss the impact of pasture systems on agricultural landscapes under favourable and adverse conditions
  • Be able to identify, analyse and manage the factors that constitute and influence pasture supply
  • Be able to outline the factors that influence the nutritional demand of grazing animals to meet defined production outcomes
  • Be able to determine and analyse patterns of supply for various pastures and forage crops across a range of agro-ecosystems
  • Be able to outline the methods of harvesting pasture, including grazing management systems, and evaluate their impact
  • Be able to describe the manufacture and storage of fodder conservation
  • Be able to identify and describe the economic and biological implications of plant and animal interactions
  • Be able to develop management plans that match pasture production to livestock demand throughout the year
  • Be able to visually assess a pasture and determine its suitability for livestock needs in a competent manner


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Management of soil characteristics on pasture production
  • Dryland salinity
  • Pasture nutrition
  • Pasture supply and assessment
  • Livestock nutritional demands
  • Livestock production targeting
  • Forage crops
  • Matching forage supply to livestock demand including tactical feed budgeting
  • 'Feed Year' concept
  • Weed, pest and disease management in pastures
  • Pasture harvesting and grazing management systems (including grazing behaviour)
  • Pastures in cropping systems
  • Health issues from livestock/plant interactions.
  • Manufacture and storage of fodder conservation
  • Pasture management under adverse conditions

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSC236 in Session 2 2018. 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 scenarios
Development of pasture assessment tools
Differentiation and evaluation of on-farm pastures
Plant species identification and features

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The Residential School will focus on the objective "Be able to visually assess a pasture and determine its suitability for livestock in a competent manner." Theory will be applied requiring one-on-one tuition in a paddock to integrate pasture height and density. Plant material will be cut and dried to provide rapid feedback to students. The visual assessment of pastures (quantity and quality) can not be successfully presented and assessed by another method. Students could obtain a 'pasture ruler' but research has shown them to be inaccurate to varying degrees. The objective will be assessed at the Residential School.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.