Changes to soil physical properties after grazing exclusion

  • Published source details Greenwood K. L., MacLeod D. a., Scott J. M. & Hutchinson K. J. (1998) Changes to soil physical properties after grazing exclusion. Soil Use and Management, 14, 19-24.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce grazing intensity

Action Link
Soil Fertility
  1. Reduce grazing intensity

    A replicated experiment in 1993-1996 on loamy and clay-loamy soils in southern New South Wales, Australia (Greenwood et al.1998), found that compacted soils recovered naturally when sheep were excluded for 2.5 years. Soil permeability (35 mm tension) and soil density (under low to high stocking rates: 1.20, 1.18 and 1.18 t/m3 respectively) in areas ungrazed for 2.5 years, were comparable to soils ungrazed for 27 years (25 mm and 1.17 t/m3). However there was large year-to-year variation in soil permeability. Each plot (0.4 ha) had three stocking rates (established in 1983) – ungrazed, low (10 sheep/ha), medium (15 sheep/ha) and high (20 sheep/ha) – replicated four times. Sheep were excluded from two 1 x 2 m areas in each plot in September 1993. Rainfall and evaporation were recorded at a weather station 3 km from the site. The soil permeability was measured twice in each plot. Soil density was determined in 1996 by four soil cores taken from each plot.



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