A survey of the current and future use of lucerne, perennial grasses and chicory in pasture-crop rotations in southern New South Wales

Guangdi Li, Brian Dear, Geoff Casburn, Janet Walker, Philip Bowden, Richard Hayes

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Abstract

The paper summarises the results of an extensive survey conducted in 2009 in the mixed farming zone of southern New South Wales (NSW) to determine the use of perennial pasture species in pasture-crop rotations. A total of 95 responses were received. Respondents were mainly farmers who attended workshops and farmer meetings organised by farming system groups and district agronomists. Comparisons of pre-drought, current and future land allocation and management were made. Averaged over the whole region at any one time about 52% of the land managed by respondents was under crop, 29% under pastures containing perennials, and 19% under annual pastures. Lucerne (Medicago sativa) was the most widely grown perennial species being sown on 84% of properties, followed by phalaris (Phalaris aquatica) (48%), native perennial grasses (31%) and chicory (Cichorium intybus) (26%). Cover-cropping was the most common method of establishing pastures with 83% of farmers utilising this technique. The prolonged drought does not appear to have influenced the proportion of crop and pasture sown or future land allocation intentions. However, the drought had served to justify the continued role of livestock enterprises in the system due to their stabilising effect on farm income based on interviews with farmers. The results from this survey will be used to identify issues restraining the greater use and adoption of perennials in farming systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th AAC
Subtitle of host publicationFood security from sustainable agriculture
EditorsH. Dove
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherThe Regional Institute
Pages1-4
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event15th Australian Agronomy Conference - Lincoln, New Zealand, New Zealand
Duration: 15 Nov 201018 Nov 2010

Conference

Conference15th Australian Agronomy Conference
CountryNew Zealand
Period15/11/1018/11/10

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Li, G., Dear, B., Casburn, G., Walker, J., Bowden, P., & Hayes, R. (2010). A survey of the current and future use of lucerne, perennial grasses and chicory in pasture-crop rotations in southern New South Wales. In H. Dove (Ed.), 15th AAC: Food security from sustainable agriculture (pp. 1-4). The Regional Institute.