Pasture problems? Don’t panic, the Paramedic is here

Pasture Paramedic is a program which is taking graziers back to the future.

Without any digital interference, Pasture Paramedic equips producers to go into any paddock and make a rapid assessment of pasture condition in the medium to high rainfall areas of Australia’s southern agricultural zone.

And it is a program developed by Cam Nicholson (Nicon Rural Services) and Lisa Miller and Jess Brogden (Southern Farming Systems) on behalf of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Cam and his wife Fiona Conroy are also Team Te Mania members and his presentation at Future Genetics, this year’s Team workshop, had the audience captivated.

Team Te Mania Members – Cam Nicholson & Fiona Conroy

The system is based around an easy-to-follow manual and the simplest of tools – a foldout one square metre gauge with which to provide an immediate assessment of the state of your paddock, or as many paddocks as you care to check.

Cam says the key to the programs – there is a manual for each geographic/climatic zone in the southern agricultural area – is to recognise the potential of your pasture, motivate yourself to maximise that potential and suggest a direction for future management.

He says Pasture Paramedic gives you a weed-by-weed and grass-by-grass playbook, how to measure them all, by assessment and by making decisions.

“Firstly, decision-making is a skill – although we weren’t taught it like reading and writing, it is nonetheless an ability which can be improved,” Cam says.

“Secondly, you can improve your decision making through practice, learning and adapting over time,” he adds.

“It is important to recognise there are two types of decisions – a ‘good’ decision and the ‘right’ decision. The terms aren’t interchangeable.

“Good decisions are based on information – obtaining facts, figures, projections and the like. They include an appreciation of the risk or odds of something happening.

“The right decision can only be gauged ‘after the event’ – the old saying ‘everything is easy in hindsight’ applies here.

“A good decision will not always lead to the right decision, particularly in agriculture, where there are so many ‘externalities’ such as weather, markets, politics and policies that producers have little control over, but can influence an outcome.

“However, making a good decision will undoubtedly go a long way to making the right decision,” Cam added.

And for graziers, Pasture Paramedic equips you with everything you need to make some serious decisions.

Cam Nicholson, from Nicon Rural Services