Sirolan phalaris and Kasbah cocksfoot prove more persistent than lucerne under drought in a medium rainfall cropping environment

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Cultivars of phalaris (Phalaris aquatica L.) and cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.) suited to lower rainfall cropping environments have existed in Australia for over 40 years, but remain rarely used in commercial crop rotations. A field experiment was established in 2010 at Ariah Park, NSW, to test the persistence of phalaris cv. Sirolan and cocksfoot cv. Kasbah compared to winter active and semi-winter dormant lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars on a red soil where the average annual rainfall is 460 mm. All treatments established successfully in 2010 and persisted well through the summers of 2010/11 and 2011/12 which were both substantially wetter than average. A rapid reduction in perennial plant density was observed in all treatments following the dry spring/summer period of 2012/13. However, the basal frequency of Sirolan phalaris (19%) and Kasbah cocksfoot (25%) was greater than either winter active or semi-winter dormant lucerne genotypes (4-5%). Sirolan was the most productive of all perennial treatments, producing significantly more dry matter than lucerne in years 1, 4 and 5. Kasbah cocksfoot was more productive than lucerne in year 5 only, but was significantly less productive in year 2. This study showed that the perennial grasses were productive and persistent in this environment and their greater use could benefit modern crop rotations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th Proceedings of the Australian Agronomy Conference
Place of PublicationWarragul; Victoria; Australia
PublisherAustralian Society for 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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