Reduced stocking density

Code: 
A12
Sector: 
Agriculture
The complete description of the NWRM: 
Summary: 

Livestock, particularly heavy species such as cattle, can have a number of damaging impacts on soil including compaction, destruction of soil structure (poaching) and loss of vegetation. These impacts can reduce infiltration of water into the soil, resulting in pooling and water logging with consequent impacts of denitrification and nitrous oxide emissions. Soil compaction will also increase the risk of run-off with consequent impacts on water quality and flood risks.

Reduced stocking density will limit soil compaction, thereby facilitating more rapid infiltration during precipitation events and potentially reducing peak flows and sediment runoff.  There may also be issues due to management decisions which can increase risks due to livestock without changing stocking levels. For example increased out-wintering of cattle to avoid housing costs will exacerbate risks due to the increased vulnerability of soils during the winter months. The measure may be effectively achieved by moving grazing livestock from high risk areas or by increasing the use of housing. Whether the reduction in pressure is achieved through direct reductions in stocking density, movement from high risk areas or housing, there will be impacts on farm business in terms of direct or opportunity costs.

Illustration(s): 

 

Sheep separated to reduce stocking density

Source: http://www.evergraze.com.au/library-content/long-term-phosphate-trial/

Possible benefits with level: 
Benefits Levelsort descending
BP2 - Slow runoff High
ES6 - Groundwater/aquifer recharge Low
PO12 - More sustainable agriculture and forestry Low
PO14 - Prevention of biodiversity loss Low
BP10 - Reduce erosion and/or sediment delivery Medium
BP11 - Improve soils Medium
ES7 - Flood risk reduction Medium
ES8 - Erosion/sediment control Medium
ES9 - Filtration of pollutants Medium
PO3 - Improving status of hydromorphology quality elements Medium
PO7 - Prevent surface water status deterioration Medium
PO9 - Take adequate and co-ordinated measures to reduce flood risks Medium
PO11 - Better protection for ecosystems and more use of Green Infrastructure Medium
Last updated: 08 Jun 2015 | Top