A preliminary evaluation of alternative annual legume species under grazing on the Southern Tablelands of NSW

Richard Hayes, Graeme Sandral, Richard Simpson, Andrew Price, Adam Stefanski, Matthew Thomas Newell

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    A field experiment was established at Goulburn, NSW, to identify the likely potential of a range of alternative annual legume cultivars for use in grazing systems on the Southern Tablelands. One cultivar each of arrowleaf clover (Trifolium vesiculosum), purple clover (T. purpureum), balansa clover (T. michelianum), crimson clover (T. incarnatum), biserrula (Biserrula pelecinus), French serradella (Ornithopus sativus) and yellow serradella (O. compressus) was compared to subterranean clover (T. subterraneum) cv. Leura from 2013-15. All treatments were sown as monocultures at 20kg/ha and left ungrazed during the establishment year. In year two sheep grazed the experiment three times from February-August before stock were again excluded to enable legumes to set seed. Leura subterranean clover (7.0 t/ha) and Dixie crimson clover
    (6.3 t/ha) were the most productive annual legumes during spring of year 2 and the treatments with the lowest proportion of volunteer weed species (4% and 13%, respectively). By contrast, Mauro biserrula
    (0.5 t/ha) and Margurita French serradella (1.3 t/ha) were the least productive, with 88% and 75% of total available biomass in these swards composed of volunteer weed species, respectively. Seedling regeneration in year three was negligible in the purple clover, biserrula, French and yellow serradella swards. The poor performance of most alternative annual legume species under relatively lenient management is discussed in the context of introducing alternative annual legume species to permanent grazing systems in cooler more temperate environments. This study highlights the need to develop cultivars of these annual legume species specifically for this new target environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication17th Proceedings of the Australian Agronomy Conference
    Place of PublicationWarragul; Victoria; Australia
    PublisherAustralian Society of Agronomy
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event17th Australian Agronomy Conference - Wrest Point Convention Centre , Hobart, Australia
    Duration: 20 Sep 201524 Sep 2015


    Conference17th Australian Agronomy Conference
    Abbreviated titleBuilding Productive, Diverse and Sustainable Landscapes
    Internet address


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