Short Courses

Grazing Management (PROGRAZE) Course

Melbourne Polytechnic's short course in Grazing Management (PROGRAZE) is designed for individuals who want to better manage their pastures and optimise livestock production. It provides practical skills and background knowledge about how pastures and livestock interact.

Course Code: SAH011

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More profitable and sustainable pasture management lies within the grasp of every producer. It’s a matter of obtaining the knowledge and skills concerning grazing management practices and understanding pasture and animal requirements.

This course is conducted as a series of weekend workshops at Melbourne Polytechnic’s training farm, 2005 Plenty Road, Yan Yean.

Completion of the unit of competency AHCBAC401A Manage pastures for livestock production will earn you credit towards attaining a nationally recognised qualification in Agriculture (Certificate III to Diploma).

Producers can obtain the necessary grazing management skills for profitable and sustainable grazing through PROGRAZE, a skills course developed by the Meat Research Corporation and State Departments of Agriculture.

PROGRAZE is designed to help producers:

  • develop pasture and animal assessment skills (fat score sheep and cattle)
  • understand how to use these skills to improve the profitability and sustainability of pasture grazing systems
  • estimate animal production from pasture of differing quality and quantity
  • set benchmarks to optimise livestock performance and pasture production
  • learn about pasture management
  • learn how to achieve market targets for meat through pasture and livestock management

Using a hands-on approach with sessions conducted on-farm and in the paddock, the course focuses on discussion with producers and practical sessions are combined so participants have a full learning experience.

The course is presented with a strong focus on pasture ecology and managing pasture (native, volunteer, introduced, forbes/shrubs or a mixture of these).

This includes examining:

What limits pasture growth throughout the various seasons

  • moisture
  • root type and depth
  • soil structure
  • soil type
  • mineral balance
  • pasture species
  • leaf area

Why do we have certain plants and what do they indicate?

  • renovating: do we really need to do it?
  • managing for perennial pastures
  • ecologically sustainable grazing systems catering for biodiversity
  • grazing, ground cover, and its impact on soil biota and the environment
  • natural methods of weed control (why and how has land management led to these weeds being a problem?)

All workshops include a paddock walk, pasture monitoring and pasture identification.

Workshop 1

  • introduction
  • profitable and sustainable grazing
  • sustainability in variable climates

Workshop 2

  • pastures for livestock production – quality and quantity, growth curves
  • benchmarks for sheep and cattle

Workshop 3

  • sheep production from pasture
  • targets
  • management
  • wool production
  • lamb production
  • fat scoring

Workshop 4

  • beef production from pastures
  • reproductive targets
  • feed requirements
  • calving
  • cattle performance and production
  • fat scoring

Workshop 5

  • pasture growth
  • herbicide management
  • nutrient management

Workshop 6

  • grazing management of pastures
  • influence of animals on pasture
  • grazing management systems
  • seasonal management

Workshop 7

  • bus tour

Workshop 8

  • planning to achieve production targets
  • feed budgeting for the summer
  • planning for the next season

Course duration and session details:

The course is delivered on Sundays at the Epping campus.

Dates may be subject to change due to seasonal conditions or availability of suitable animals or pasture.

For any additional information, please contact a Melbourne Polytechnic Education and Career Advisor (ECA), on 03 9269 8400 or 03 9269 8615, or by email.

Course Cancellation or Postponement

Courses with low enrolments may be cancelled or delayed. You will be notified of this 48 hours prior to course commencement.

Students may be eligible for Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.