Pasture Management

Pasture Management

Course Code BAG212
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Payment Options Upfront & Payment Plans
Delivery Online & Correspondence
Duration 100 Hours

Pasture Management BAG212

Pastures are critical to many types of farms. Farmers have been known to turn unprofitable farms into commercial successes by simply improving pasture. Whether dealing with small or large properties, pasture management is an important part of many types of farm enterprises. This course is designed to be useful to those already managing existing pastures and those who wish to establish successful new pastures.

Every livestock farmer is first and foremost a pasture farmer
They may make use of the natural grasses or he may improve his pastures by planting special grasses or legumes. A good farmer recognises the different grasses and legumes, and understands how to get the best out of them. He will be able to distinguish between desirable and undesirable plants and he will know the grazing habits of his stock.

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Pastures
    • Pasture Improvement
    • Choosing a Pasture Mix
    • Seed Coating
    • Variety Selection
    • Sustainability
    • Definitions
  2. The Pasture Plant
    • Grasses
    • The grass plant
    • Growth and development
    • Phases of development
    • Annual and perennial grasses
    • Carbohydrate sinks
    • The physiology of grasses
    • The structure of grasses
    • Growth habits
    • Legumes
  3. Pasture Varieties
    • Introduction to common pasture grasses
    • Identifying grasses
    • Legumes
    • The Importance of Legumes in Pasture
    • Nitrogen Fixation in Legumes
    • The Rhizobium bacteria
    • Common legumes
    • Grasses to Grow With Clovers
  4. Site Considerations
    • Managing pastures
    • Choosing the Correct Site for a Pasture
    • Choosing the correct seed mix
    • Seed quality
  5. Establishing New Pastures
    • Preparation of the land for pasture
    • Prepared seedbed
    • Sowing
    • Germination
    • Direct drilling
    • Weed control
    • Seeders
    • Grazing new pastures
  6. Managing Existing Pastures
    • Native Grasses versus Pasture
    • Carrying Capacity of Native Grasses
    • Stocking Rate of Native Grass Areas
    • The Establishment of the Native Grasslands
    • The developing grasslands
    • How grasslands deteriorate
    • Factors promoting succession or retrogression
    • Limiting factors and terminal plant communities
    • Allogenic Factors
    • Autogenic Factors
    • Rests To Promote Rapid Growth
    • Rests to change the composition of the community
    • Rests designed to eliminate or control bush encroachment
    • Rests to accumulate grazing material
    • Rests to provide out of season fodder
    • Physiological aspects
  7. Managing Stock on Pasture
    • Factors affecting food intake by animals
    • Animal factors
    • Feed factors
    • Grazing factors
    • Grazing behaviour
    • Complementary Grazing
    • Rank Order of Dominance
    • Selective Grazing
    • Ruminant Time
    • Herd group behaviour
    • Grazing Time
    • Pasture management principles - rest, grazing period, stocking, carrying capacity
    • Equal Utilisation or the Removal of the Top Hamper, paddock size, number in herd etc
    • Grassland management principles - Split - season Systems, Continuous Light Stocking, One Herd, Four Paddock System, Intensive systems etc
    • Horse pastures
    • Food trees and shrubs
  8. Pasture Management Work Tasks
    • Fertilizer
    • Pest and weed control
    • Biological control
    • Advantages of Biological Methods
    • Disadvantages of Biological Methods
    • Irrigation
    • Fallowing
    • Cultivation
    • Pasture renovation
    • Managing pasture after drought
    • Managing pasture after fire

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Determine criteria for selecting appropriate varieties of plants for a pasture.
  • Identify characteristics of a pasture plant which are relevant to both making an identification, and to considering its value as a pasture species.
  • Evaluate the potential of given sites for pasture development programs.
  • Explain the procedures used in managing the establishment of pasture.
  • Explain the techniques used in managing pasture which is already been established
  • Assess the commercial and nutritional value of pasture species in the context of farm.
  • animal feed, and determine appropriate ways of managing stock.
  • Develop an appropriate work program for the management of a pasture by a farmer.
Finance options

If you are an Irish citizen you may be eligible to receive financial support, meaning you can defer payment of your course fees. Additionally, if you are a resident of Ireland, you may also be eligible to receive a student grant under the Student Grant Scheme

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