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.


  • 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.

  • 11 August 2016

    The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) and Department of Lands surveyed erosion and rangeland condition in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia in 1972.

  • 28 April 2016

    Summer sowing (February) proved to be a successful technique for introducing hard-seeded annual legumes into established perennial grass pastures, however, the herbicide options and benefits of per

  • 21 November 2016

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

  • 28 June 2016

    Rhodes grass is a stoloniferous perennial grass with moderate feed quality and palatability.

  • 18 July 2016

    The establishment of sub-tropical grasses has improved dramatically in the past few years.

  • 28 June 2016

    Signal grass is a warm season (C4) sub-tropical grass but it is not recommended for sowing either alone or as a component of species mixtures in Western Australia (WA) due to a high risk of causing

  • 28 June 2016

    Digit grass is a palatable bunch grass and has no associated livestock disorders. It has had limited commercial use in WA, but is the most widely sown sub-tropical grass in northern NSW.

  • 28 June 2016

    Setaria is a a palatable bunch grass with moderate drought tolerance.

  • 28 June 2016

    There is considerable interest in growing sub-tropical perennial grasses especially on the south coast and in the Northern Agricultural Region.


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