An application to establish a higher stocking rate on a property usually needs to include an Equine Management Plan to describe how the property and horses will be managed appropriately.
Poor management of natural resources, horses and activities on site could lead to detrimental problems in the future which could be difficult to resolve.
Appropriate management of the property will lead to better quality pastures, low level of weeds, maintenance of watercourses and vegetated areas.
Issues associated with environmental degradation which need to be appropriately managed and addressed in the EMP.
Factors which need to be considered include: Stable design Availability of feed Areas for exercise and paddocks Crossing of watercourses Manure management Fly management Dust management Odour management Nutrient export management Weed control Wind and water erosion control (dust generation) Prevention of impacts on wetlands and watercourses Prevention of vegetation degradation. Equine Management Plan Lot 135 Hopeland Road, Hopeland March 2012 Page 4 FINAL – Ver 1 Base Stocking Rate The stocking rate is the number of horses that can consistently be kept on a piece of land all year round with minor additional feed and minimal environmental impact.
The Shire has indicated that the recommended stocking rate for horses is one horse per hectare of land.
Base stocking rates are generally determined based on the amount of pasture that horses consume, feeding patterns, animal weight, foot structure and activity.
Ideally, the base stocking rate should provide enough pasture feed, avoid soil erosion by providing enough pasture to cover the ground at all times and be sustainable through all seasons.
An increase in stocking rate depends on improvements to pasture, farm planning and nutrient management (which are described in the following chapters).
The method used to calculate the base stocking rate is described in Stocking Rate Guidelines for Rural Small Holdings prepared by the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Water Quality Protection Guidelines No 13 prepared by the then Waters and Rivers Commission.
The base stocking rate for a property is determined based on soil types present.
The northern section of the property consists of ‘rapidly drained pale sands’ and the central and southern sections consist of ‘semi-wet soils’.
The base stocking rates per hectare for these soil types are provided in Table 1.1.
Table 1.1 – Determination of Base Stocking Rates Soil type Rapidly drained pale sands Semi-wet soils Dry Stocking Rate (DSE) 2 DSE Dry Stocking Rate 0.2 light horses 0.1 draught horses 6 DSE 0.6 light horses 20 DSE 0.3 draught horses Note: DSE is Dry Sheep Equivalent per hectare Note: One 450kg light horse is equivalent to 10 DSEs and a 1000kg draught horse is equivalent to 20 DSEs. Irrigated Stocking Rate (DSE) 10 DSE Irrigated Stocking Rate 1 light horse 0.5 draught horses 2 light horses 1 draught horse As can be seen in the table, the Shire recommended stocking rate of 1 horse per hectare is fairly consistent with the stocking rate for 1ha of irrigated pasture for both soil types.
The total stocking rate for the property can be determined by multiplying the DSE for each soil type by the area which will be used as paddocks.
The total area of the property which will be used as paddocks has been calculated at approximately 31.88ha.
The DSE for the area of the property has been calculated and provided in Table 1.2 below.
Table 1.2 – Determination of Base Stocking Rates for the Property Soil type Rapidly drained pale sands Semi-wet soils Area of soil type 5.23ha Dry Stocking Rate 1.0 light horses 0.5 draught horses 16 light horses 8 draught horses Irrigated Stocking Rate 5.23 light horses 2.6 draught horses 53.3 light horses 26.65 draught horses Dry Stocking rate combined 17 light horses 8.5 draught horses 26.65ha Irrigated stocking rate combined 59 light horses 29.5 draught horses Equine Management Plan Lot 135 Hopeland Road, Hopeland March 2012 Page 5 FINAL – Ver 1 Higher stocking rates The horse facility proposed on this property will have a higher stocking rate and will be a more intensive land use.
The horsekeeping system can be best classified as a ‘high input system’ which consists of yards and stables where horses will spend a majority of their time and will spend a few hours a day in paddocks or being exercised.
Up to 20 horses will be stabled full-time and another 70 horses will be kept in paddock areas (including foals and weanlings).
Although it is anticipated that there could be up to 70 horses within paddock areas (which is 11 horses over the 59 base stocking rate for the property), it should be noted that some of these horses will be foals and weanlings which will have less environmental impact than full-grown horses.
The Stocking Rate Guidelines and Water Quality Protection Guidelines recommend that sites considered for higher stocking rates should: Be confined to areas of better soil Not located on slopes greater than 10% Incorporate drainage management to avoid runoff into watercourses Be located 100m from watercourses and wetlands Horses kept away from wetlands and seasonally boggy areas Horses kept a minimum of 30m from the banks of permanent streams with slopes less than 1 in 4 Horses should be kept a minimum of 30m away from water supply wells and dams Horses should be kept at least 1.2 metres above the highest annual groundwater table level in order to avoid swampy or seasonally inundation areas.
These factors have been taken into account in the overall design of the proposed development. 1.5 Guiding Documents
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