Surface cover grazing systems trial


Research organisatons
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) N/A
Year(s) 2014
Contributor Upper North Farming Systems
Trial location(s) Appila, SA
Surface cover grazing systems trial locations

To record experiences of farmers using rotational grazing on stubbles (putting high numbers of stock on paddocks for short periods of time) suggest that more surface cover remains and less tracking is evident compared to paddocks where a lower stocking density for longer periods is used.

Key messages
  • Trials are underway investigating the effects of rotational grazing versus set stocking of stubble residues on surface cover and soil characteristics in arable paddocks.
  • Early rain in 2014 disrupted the trial’s implementation but initial results on a stubble / self-sown pasture grazed in June indicated no difference between set stocking and rotational grazing on surface cover.
Lead research organisation Primary Industries and Regions SA
Host research organisation Upper North Farming Systems
Trial funding source GRDC
Related program Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble

Thank you to Don Bottral for the use of his paddock and his effort in erecting the fencing and rotating the sheep. Thank you also to Jim Higgins, who was originally going to be part of the trial but the seasons and lack of stubble cover have meant that the trial was not possible. Thankyou also to Joe Koch for the loan and operation of his UAV to obtain the aerial imagery of the trial site.

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type None: No crop specified
Treatment type(s)
  • Grazing
  • Grazing: Application Method
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Unknown

Appila 2014

Sow date July 2014
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Other trial notes

The paddock was sown to wheat in July 2014. After harvest in 2014 the paddock was subdivided and tested again. The results from the 2015 grazing are yet to be analysed. This paddock will continue to be grazed in this trial for the following 2 seasons to assess the longer term effects of grazing system on stubble and soil characteristic within a paddock used primarily for cropping.

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Variety
Treatment 1
Dry matter (t/ha)
1 Pasture Control 1.99
2 Pasture Rotational Grazing 1.44
3 Pasture Set Stocking 1.5

Dry matter t/ha

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Appila, SA Clay - Clay loam
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Appila, SA Sodosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Appila SA
2014 565.3mm
2013 578.4mm
2012 609.1mm
2011 609.6mm
2010 616.6mm
2009 610.2mm
2008 589.7mm
2007 600.7mm
2006 577.6mm
2005 606.9mm
2004 596.2mm
2003 577.2mm
2002 553.4mm
2001 591.0mm
2000 543.6mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Appila SA

NOTE: Exact trial site locality unknown - Climate data may not be accurate

Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Trial report and links

2014 trial report

Trial last modified: 26-05-2023 14:16pm AEST