Grazing

Grazing management is effective in managing populations of some pasture pests. Examples include:

  • red legged earth mite
  • lucerne flea
  • cockchafers
  • weevils
  • slugs and snails

Appropriate grazing of pastures can have flow on benefits to subsequent crops in the rotation.

Intensive grazing of pastures has been shown to reduce the abundance of earthmites and lucerne flea. Shorter pastures lower relative humidity and increase insect mortality and limits food resources.

However, very short pastures (2-3 cm) caused by heavy grazing or hay cutting will be attractive to the egg-laying female beetles of the black headed cockchafer.

Crop establishment in paddocks following pastures that were intensively grazed in spring will be potentially less reliant on seed dressings and foliar insecticides. It is still important that these paddocks be monitored closely for establishment pests, particularly for highly susceptible crops like canola.

See also:

R. East & R. Pottinger (1983) Use of grazing animals to control insect pests of pasture.  New Zealand Entomologist 7(4):352-359

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