Pasture species

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development 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

  • Growing global demand for Australian beef products, driven primarily by Asian countries, presents opportunities to expand livestock production and value add in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of

  • Buffel and birdwood grasses (Cenchrus ciliaris and C. setiger) are introduced species found in the Western Australian rangelands.

  • Lanza is a herbaceous drought tolerant perennial pasture legume that is ideal for Mediterranean environments.

  • We provide this information on buffel grass pastures in the Kimberley to be used as a reference for assessing pasture condition, and as a guide for pastoral station staff and others interested in t

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

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