Pasture species

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) is a world leader in the development of new pasture legumes and provides information and advice to assist farmers in making appropriate species and cultivar decisions.  

The choice of pasture species is important to maximise the productivity and profitability of Western Australian farms. A wide range of grasses and legumes are available for rain-fed and irrigated production systems. Legume species in particular are valued for their high quality feeding value and ability to improve soil fertility through nitrogen fixation. The selection of which pasture species to grow is based on climate, soil conditions and feed demand as determined by the type of livestock and cropping system you have.

Pastures in the south-west of Western Australia are typically dominated by annual species, particularly annual ryegrass and subterranean clover, with a range of alternative legume species such as serradella and biserrula now developed for specific niches. In some situations perennial pastures (plants that live for more than two years) such as lucerne, warm season grasses and fodder shrubs can improve production, protect natural resources and build the capacity of farming systems to adapt to future production and environmental challenges.

Articles

  • 1 September 2016

    Cadiz, Eliza, Margurita and Erica have different characteristics allowing them to be used in different agricultural systems.

  • 2 September 2016

    French serradella is an annual pasture legume with three cultivars suited to Mediterranean climatic zones of Australia. Cadiz and Eliza are soft seeded while Margurita and Erica are hard seeded.

  • 27 September 2016

    Isolated cases of photosensitisation have occurred in sheep grazing both Casbah and Mauro biserrula throughout the wheatbelt. If photosensitisation is identified early and the animals immediately r

  • 29 August 2016

    Sothis is the first cultivar of eastern star clover (Trifolium dasyurum). It germinates very late in the season, up to six weeks after the break.

  • 8 December 2016

    Biserrula is a persistent pasture legumes for Mediterranean farming systems. Biserrula  has high level of hard seed, deep root system and  high level of grazing tolerance.

  • 21 July 2016

    Bartolo is the first cultivar of bladder clover (Trifolium spumosum) commercially available to world agriculture.

  • 8 September 2015

    Cefalu arrowleaf clover (Trifolium vesiculosum) is an upright, annual pasture legume suited to forage production systems in regions with >400mm annual rainfall.

  • 13 April 2015

    Cultivars of French serradella (Eliza, Cadiz, Erica and Margurita) and yellow serradella (Charano, Santorini and Yelbini) have been developed with the aim of reducing the cost of seed production.

  • 29 August 2016

    Prima is the first cultivar of gland clover to be released in Australia.

  • 11 December 2014

    Pasture legumes form a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) association with specific soil bacteria (rhizobia) to meet their nitrogen requirements.

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