Perennial pasture species (predominantly lucerne, phalaris and cocksfoot amongst RMS clients), require an appropriate rest period following heavy grazing, to ensure persistence. Heavy grazing in itself does not necessarily lead to the death of these pasture species; it is the lack of an appropriate rest period between grazings which does so.
Pasture decline represented by a thinning of pasture plants resulting from overgrazing, is a consequences of the plants continually drawing on their root reserves to the point of exhaustion of these reserves.
Recent observations from the road suggest that there will be significant decline in perennial pasture populations following this drought.
Those producers with Drought Lots should consider constraining sheep to these areas for a little longer than may appear necessary initially, to enable perennial pastures to restore root reserves following the autumn/winter break, before grazing commences.