Grain & Graze 3 - The impact of livestock on paddock health


Research organisatons
Funding source

Trial details


A long-term study was established at the Minnipa Agricultural Centre from 2008 to 2016 (EPFS Summaries 2008 to 2015) to assess the systems impact of grazing on crop and pasture production, and soil health. 

Key messages
  • Over nine seasons, incorporating livestock into the rotation improved overall system outcomes in this trial, including; increased nitrogen cycling and water use efficiency, reduction in weed and pest populations and no negative effects on cereal performance or soil health, while value adding to stubble and pastures by grazing.
  • The high input grazed farming system had a gross margin of over $100/ha/year more than lower input and ungrazed treatments over the nine-year trial period.
Lead research organisation Southern Farming Systems
Host research organisation SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Trial funding source GRDC SFS00028
Related program Grain & Graze 3

I gratefully acknowledge the help of Jake Hull, Wade Shepperd and John Kelsh for site management and Ian Richter, Sue Budarick and Brett Hay for data collection. I would also like to thank Barry Mudge with his assistance in the basic economic analysis of the trial. The Eyre Peninsula Grain and Graze 3 project is funded by GRDC (SFS00028).

Other trial partners Participating organisations: EP, BCG, MSF, Ag Excellence Alliance.
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Fertiliser: Rate
  • Grazing: Regime
  • Sowing: Rate
Trial type Demonstration
Trial design Unreplicated

Minnipa Agricultural Centre 2016

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 100m x 350m
Plot replication 1


Wheat sown @ 50 kg/ha + 40 kg/ha DAP

Wheat sown @ 70 kg/ha + 60 kg/ha DAP

Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Table 1

# Treatment 1
Gross margin low input (grazed) ($/ha) Gross margin high input (grazed) ($/ha) Gross margin low input (ungrazed) ($/ha) Gross margin high input (ungrazed) ($/ha)
1 2008 wheat -49 -42 -49 -42
2 2009 wheat 803 905 829 879
3 2010 medic 96 284 -23 -39
4 2011 wheat 362 465 284 366
5 2012 medic 26 89 -27 -27
6 2013 wheat 356 464 332 390
7 2014 wheat 598 749 525 677
8 2015 medic 86 151 -15 -60
9 2016 wheat 372 490 339 490

Gross margin high input (grazed) $/ha


Gross margin high input (ungrazed) $/ha


Gross margin low input (grazed) $/ha


Gross margin low input (ungrazed) $/ha

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Site 22, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Red sandy loam
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Site 22, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Calcarosol
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 Site 22, Minnipa Agricultural Centre SA
2016 519.0mm
2015 504.4mm
2014 556.5mm
2013 476.4mm
2012 520.3mm
2011 558.1mm
2010 543.4mm
2009 534.2mm
2008 442.9mm
2007 440.4mm
2006 473.1mm
2005 447.8mm
2004 447.2mm
2003 462.9mm
2002 460.3mm
2001 504.3mm
2000 501.8mm
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



Site 22, Minnipa Agricultural Centre SA 2016

Observed climate information

Rainfall avg ann (mm) 325mm
Rainfall avg gsr (mm) 241mm
Rainfall trial total (mm) 391mm
Rainfall trial gsr (mm) 268mm

Derived climate information

Site 22, Minnipa Agricultural Centre SA


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 last modified: 08-10-2019 11:46am AEST