The Mid North Grasslands Working Group (MNGWG)
was established in 1999 to provide farmers with
practical information and support on the management
of native pastures for increased productivity
The group consists of more than 300 farmers
throughout the Mid and Upper North of South Australia
as well as government and non-government representatives.
Technical and scientific advice is provided by
National Parks and Wildlife SA and the Grassy
Ecosystems Technical Advisory Group (GETAG).
With funding from the Natural Heritage Trust,
the MNWG has carried out a three-year grazing
trial on eight farms in the Mid North. The aim
of the project was to:
- Demonstrate that appropriate grazing management
can allow native pastures to be grazed for
production and result in improved conservation
of native grasslands.
- To establish grazing demonstration sites
on seven farms in the Mid North
- To establish a scientific site on a commercial
farm in the Mid North of SA to determine the
effects of different grazing strategies on
Through the subdivision of large paddocks and
the introduction of rotational grazing, there
has been an increase in the amount of native
perennial grasses, the level of ground cover
and pasture productivity. At some sites, annual
stocking rates have increased from 2.5 Dry Sheep
Equivalents (DSE) per hectare up to 7DSE/ha.
From the project results, the MNGWG will produce
a range of native pasture management guidelines.
But it is important to remember that there are
not fixed recipes for managing pastures – in
fact diversity of management is important, particularly
for biodiversity conservation. The management
of each native pasture will depend on a wide
range of factors, including the type of pasture,
climatic conditions, seasons, and the aims of
the individual producer.