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.


  • 21 November 2016

    Consol lovegrass is a persistent, drought-tolerant, tufted perennial suited to well drained, sandy and loamy soils.

  • 16 January 2017

    Lucerne or alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a deep-rooted, temperate, perennial pasture legume which is well adapted to mixed farming systems in southern Western Australia.

  • 16 January 2017

    This article summarises the management practices required to optimise the production of lucerne to provide benefits to livestock and crop following a lucerne phase. Lucerne is well suited to irregu

  • 18 July 2016

    Balansa clover (Trifolium michelianum) is an annual, self-regenerating forage legume introduced from Turkey and has been used in WA since the mid 1980s.

  • 14 November 2016

    Subterranean clover is a grazing tolerant annual pasture legume sown over eight million hectares (ha) in Western Australia (WA) and 29 million ha across southern Australia.

  • 30 September 2016

    A range of perennial forages were evaluated in two contrasting environments; with and without summer rainfall, medium verses high annual rainfall and sandy verses loam soils.

  • 23 August 2016

    Six new subterranean clover varieties have been developed from a national five-year joint venture between the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) and pasture seed company,

  • 31 August 2016

    Bindoon is a midseason maturing subterranean clover with increased resistance to redlegged earth mites (RLEM) and resistance to Race 1, the most common race, of clover scorch disease.

  • 31 August 2016

    Rosabrook is a late flowering, disease resistant subterranean clover with increased resistance to redlegged earth mites (RLEM) and high early season biomass production.

  • 31 August 2016

    Narrikup is a very vigorous midseason flowering variety of the “black-seeded” subterraneum subspecies of sub clover.