Pasture Management Online Course

cows at pasture

Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

Pasture management is at the heart of any livestock management. Good pasture not only reduces feed costs and increases profitability and increases productive land but also maintains livestock health by avoidance of toxic plants. Pasture management is relevant for all pastoral animals including cattle, goats, sheep and horses. This course is suitable for both those already managing existing pastures and those who wish to establish successful new pastures.

Course Aims:

  • 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.


Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 8 Lessons in this course:

Introduction to Pastures

  • Pasture Improvement
  • Choosing a Pasture Mix
  • Seed Coating
  • Variety Selection
  • Sustainability
  • Definitions

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

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

Site Considerations

  • Managing pastures
  • Choosing the Correct Site for a Pasture
  • Choosing the correct seed mix
  • Seed quality

Establishing New Pastures

  • Preparation of the land for pasture
  • Prepared seedbed
  • Sowing
  • Germination
  • Direct drilling
  • Weed control
  • Seeders
  • Grazing new pastures

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

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

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

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

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    Course Tutor

    Agriculture spans a wide variety of specializations.  Who your tutor is will depend on which area of agriculture you are studying.  Upon enrollment you will be assigned your own personal tutor who is there to support you throughout your studies.

    How It Works

    1. Learn Online

    Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

    2. Get Help & Support

    Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

    3. Receive Certificate

    Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I pay in installments?

    Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

    Can I study from anywhere in the world?

    We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

    Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

    Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


    Do I have to sit an Exam?

    No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

    Do you have set start dates?

    There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.