Forage budgets

Participating land manager Alana Carter (left) with Forage budget mentor Amy Holcombe at Cheyene in Banana.

Delivered by Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative (CHRRUP), graziers provide a forage budgeting and land condition assessment service to their fellow grazing land managers. The program has expanded into the Upper Belyando River catchment of the Burdekin region and is continuing in the Fitzroy region. Forage budgeting is a valuable land management tool to determine stocking rates that help to achieve better outcomes for pasture and soil condition and water quality for the Great Barrier Reef.

Between 2018 and 2021, the project achieved significant outcomes including:

  • training four local ‘champion’ graziers to deliver forage budget services
  • delivering one-on-one forage budgeting services by the champions to 29 graziers in the Fitzroy and Upper Belyando
  • establishing photo-monitoring sites across the 29 properties involved.

In addition, the project has reported several social outcomes as well as enhanced social networks. A survey conducted in 2021 with some of the involved graziers reinforced the findings of 2019 that:

  • 70% gathered a medium to high amount of new knowledge from their property visits
  • 90% will continue to forage budget every year
  • 80% said the service was highly valuable.

Participating land manager Reid Bauman at Monklands in Alpha.

This project has allowed the Baumans from Monklands in Alpha and Alana Carter from Cheyene in Banana to better navigate the impact of highly variable rainfall patterns by focusing on and understanding their property’s forecasted carrying capacity.

This project was funded through the Queensland Government’s Queensland Reef Water Quality Program. More information can be found by visiting CHRRUP’s website.