Monoculture can be a farmer’s enemy as monoculture can set your farm backwards.
Setting up test sites like 10 m x 10 m or 30 m x 30 m in big paddocks for grazing management to observe the benefits of diverse plant species can easily be put on the back burner by farmers and not done at all.
However, as early adopters have found it is well worth the effort to encourage the re- establishment of a diverse range of the plant species as it is very profitable.
So the next best thing to constructed test sites is to follow scientist David Tongway and his landscape function analysis methodology where on a downward slope transect, his team setup brush packs to catch and observe the sediment, debris and nutrients that were moving down the slope and to look at the possible recovery in the big paddock with new plant species if given a chance to appear.
The findings were:
1. That considerable matter was caught up in the brush packs which would have otherwise been lost from the paddock
2. That regeneration of plant diversity of desirable plant species that would have otherwise been eaten out by animals as currently has been eaten out in the rest of the paddock
3. They found that regeneration of plants higher up the evolution successional scale both of which, if given a chance would rebuild the quality of the pasture and the landscape function
What are brush packs?
How does the farmer create a test site using brush packs?
Strategically stack up the branches high enough and wide enough to stop stock and grass eating wildlife from grazing that small area.
Note: It requires twiggy, scratchy branches that the animals don’t like putting their heads into.
Early adopter farmers who worked with test sites are finding they can change management on the rest of the property to encourage diversity which leads to a better functioning landscape that leads to
a) more profitable and
b) more satisfying farming enterprises.