Establishing Perennial Pastures – The foundation for sustainable organic farming systems

  • 67 pages

  • Published: 12 Aug 2008

  • Author(s): Burnett, Viv

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This report is about understanding the requirements to establish and manage introduced perennial pastures, and to increase the perennial grass component of native pastures, in dryland organic farming systems. This report is important because experienced organic producers and new entrants to organic production need to know the best methods to establish and manage a perennial system for both productivity and long term persistence.

The report is targeted at organic primary producers, those producers contemplating conversion to organic systems and organic certification agencies.

Dryland farming systems require perennial species in order to be environmentally and economically sustainable. Perennial pasture species have the potential to address the water imbalance in current agricultural systems, reduce nitrate leaching that contributes to soil acidification and, once established, are competitive and can reduce annual weed species invasion thereby assisting in chemical-free weed management.

The objective of the research was to determine sustainable methods of establishing introduced perennial pastures for organic and in-conversion farming systems. The principal beneficiaries of the research are primary producers.