Tropical Grasslands (2000) Volume 34, 182–191

Understanding grazing lands for better management: are we making any progress?

MICK QUIRK

Queensland Beef Industry Institute, Department of Primary Industries, Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia

Abstract

I attempt to take stock of current understanding of the ecology of grazing lands in Queensland and the implications for grazing land management. In doing so I stress the importance of maintaining an open, but critical, approach to the evaluation of ideas and hypotheses, and present evidence to show that the grazing industry is currently susceptible to pseudoscience and unfounded generalisations. I also highlight the need for a mechanism that can promote active, continuous and inclusive interaction between producers and R & D providers, instead of the passive, intermittent and selective interaction that currently occurs. Finally, I submit some ideas, concepts and principles that could help provide a foundation for a more shared and robust understanding of our grazing lands. These are based around the key drivers of grazing lands, including rainfall variability, available soil nitrogen, grazing management, tree-grass interactions, fire and selective grazing.

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