Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 12: Efficient Pastoral Production
Tool 12.19
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Use the GLM gateways model to develop a framework for optimising production from the rainfall that you receive.

The Grazing Land Management Program (MLA, 2006) was developed and supported by Queensland and Northern Territory Governments. This program provides a useful framework for optimising production from rainfall. Known as the ‘Gateways Model’, it structures information around three gateways:

  • The land condition gateway
  • The evenness of grazing gateway considers the consumption of feed
  • The diet quality gateway.

The land condition gateway: this considers how well rainfall is converted into useful feed production; known as rainfall use efficiency. This will depend on the landscape function which provides an indication of the landscapes’ ability to capture rainfall and retain nutrients. A key component of landscape function is the level of cover and location of perennial plants across the system. Refer also to Section 8 Obtain the Best Production From Rain Received.

The evenness of grazing gateway considers the consumption of feed: this is known as the utilisation rate. Ideally grazing stock will utilise feed evenly over a paddock so that all areas have a similar level of utilisation, which is ideally not greater than 20–30% for perennial pastures. This will assist plants to recover from grazing and survive dry times.

The diet quality gateway: this considers the conversion of pasture to meat and is known as conversion efficiency. Conversion rates will depend on the quality of the feed, particularly in relation to the levels of energy and protein. The availability of key elements (deficiency or toxicity) in the feed will also impact on conversion rates and livestock production. Refer also to Section 6.1 Carrying Capacity: Know your feed supply and quality.

Grazing Land Management – Sustainable and productive natural resource management, 2007, MLA