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Protect your new growth

WHILE the recent rains may come as some relief to drought-affected pastures, Biosecurity Queensland has urged graziers not to overgraze new growth.

Crop protection officer Michelle Janes said high grazing pressure, like returning cattle to pastures that are recovering from drought too early, will allow the entry and spread of parthenium weed.

"Many central Queensland producers are facing difficult and often stressful drought management decisions," she said.

"Drought planning should consider long-term pasture maintenance, which contributes to grazing sustainability, protects the soil surface preventing erosion, adds to nutrient cycling and suppresses woody weeds.

"As with most weeds, prevention is far cheaper than having to conduct control."

Michelle said ground cover at the end of the dry season should be no less than 40%.

"Managing grazing pressure by not over-stocking means that while grass is grazed, it is not totally removed," she said.

Drought management strategies should consider weed seed spread when moving cattle, buying hay or grains and other supplements, and ensuring a "come clean go clean" policy.

Drought recovery strategies should be planned around maintaining good grass cover.

For more information visit http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/biosecurity or phone 13 25 23.

Topics:  drought grazing pastures rain