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Trials and Demonstrations: Pasture Species Suitable for Heavier Soil Types

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Sustainable Industries

This project is evaluating the establishment and performance of alternative nitrogen fixing pasture species that may be better adapted to low rainfall, heavy soil types in the South - Eastern Wheatbelt. Standard sub clovers have previously demonstrated poor results in this area so this trial has provided an opportunity to try some alternative species that may respond more favorably.

Preliminary Results

Strips of Santiago Bur Medic, Casbah Biserrula, Bindoon sub-clover, Losa sub-clover and were sown in April 2015 on 3 paddocks. Good rains followed seeding and all the pasture varieties germinated well. After a good seed set was established, the pastures were grazed at 5 lambs/ha for around a month to avoid overgrazing.

The landowner, Frank said the Losa, Bindoon and Casbah had good ground cover while the Santiago was not as good. Casbah had the most bulk and produced the most feed/ha followed by Bindoon and Losa. There is currently a lot of seed remaining on the ground and he hopes that he will have good pastures in the years to come.

2016 turned out to be an excellent year, in most areas, for plant growth and the trial had minimal frost problems. The project will run for one more year to monitor the pasture seed regeneration.