NOVEL PASTURES FOR DRYLAND PASTURE SYSTEMS

Key Points

  • State-wide project involving DPIRD, Murdoch, CSIRO, Mingenew-Irwin group, Corrigin Farm Improvement Group and ASHEEP

  • 4.5 year research project

  • Funded by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and GRDC, MLA & AWI

  • Key Researchers– Angelo Loi DPIRD, Ron Yates DPIRD and Brad Nutt Murdoch Uni

Aim

To develop low-cost legume pasture, forage or hay options with reliable, low cost establishment techniques and management packages that benefit both crops and livestock production on a range of soil types

5 project components

  1. Novel pasture legumes suited to dry farming systems

  2. Benefits of novel legume pastures to crop production systems

  3. Benefits of novel legume pastures to livestock production systems

  4. Farm economics/modelling of legume pastures to aid decisions and evaluation

  5. Extension and evaluation

What is happening in Esperance?

Two novel legume pasture variety trial sites were established in 2018, one in Cascade and one in Scaddan. Due to the poor start the Cascade site did not fair well and germination was limited. The Scaddan site hung on and was visited as part of ASHEEP’s Northern Field Walk in 2018.

Image: Scaddan trial site on 14th September 2018

Site Information

  • A high Boron sites were selected.

  • The sites were sprayed out with round up and sown in June.

  • Insects were controlled with Talstar.

  • 2018 was a tough establishment year so some of the plants aren’t looking as impressive as we’d like.

  • Like everyone else we’re hoping for a better one next year.

Spiny Scorpion Tail

This variety doesn’t have the spines the original does but retains the same high level of feed quality. In it’s native location, Santorini, the value of land is based on how much of this plant is present in the pasture such is it’s quality as sheep fodder. It is highly valued by the sheep dairy farmers of Santorini.

Trigonella Balansae

An upright growing, aerial seeded variety of clover that gives off a distinct curry aroma. Further testing is needed on the effect this curry aroma has on eating quality of the lamb or beef produced from stock grazing this plant.

Medicago Truncatula– Sultan SU

An early flowering barrel medic that shows tolerance to sulfonylurea (SU) herbicides (eg Glean, Logran, Ally) and is Boron tolerant.

Trifolium Spumusum

A variety of Bladder Clover that is a bit more robust than current bladder clovers and has a shorter season.

Ornithopus pinnatus Slender Serradella

The niche for this variety of Slender serradella is winter waterlogging followed by a dry spring. It thrives in the spring.

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia and Australian Wool Innovation. The research partners include the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Murdoch University, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and Charles Stuart University, as well as grower groups.

PROJECT PARTNERS

ASHEEP Esperance

PO Box 2445

Esperance WA 6450

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Disclaimer: The Association of Sheep Husbandry, Excellence, Evaluation and Production (ASHEEP) does not accept any liability whatsoever by reason of negligence or otherwise arising from use or release of this information or any part of it.