student profile: Miss Jaime Manning


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Heterogeneity in extensive pasture systems: how does it affect cattle behaviour, preference and production?

Supervisors: Lachlan INGRAM , Gregory CRONIN

Thesis abstract:

Numerous pasture attributes impact cattle forage preferences but amongst the more important are pasture quantity and quality. Understanding cattle grazing preference and its effect on liveweight gains and the interactions between grazing behaviour, pasture availability and quality, has substantial production and profitability implications for producers in Australia. Traditionally, gaining information on these variables was subjective, time consuming and not instantaneous. The potential to measure pasture quality and quantity without an increase in labour and time requirements, more frequently, accurately in an economical manner using new technologies such as CropCircle© Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to estimate pasture biomass and Global Positioning System collars (GPS) to determine the grazing preference of livestock is crucial to help producers manage their pastures more precisely. Therefore, the aim of this research is to determine the underlying pasture factors affecting cattle preference, in order for producers to make management improvements and increase production.

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