Lanza tedera seed to be released for 2019 season
After much anticipation, seed for the new pasture legume species tedera will be available for the 2019 season.
The department has spent the past decade developing a new variety of the hardy perennial from the Canary Islands, which is suited to Western Australian conditions.
The result is Lanza tedera, named after the Spanish island of Lanzarote, where the original seed was sourced 12 years ago.
Extensive agronomic and livestock grazing trials have confirmed Lanza tedera’s value as a drought and heat tolerant, highly nutritious feed alternative, with nitrogen fixing qualities.
Feed gap alternative
Lanza tedera will provide sheep producers, in particular, with a high value feed option that fills the summer-autumn feed gap.
Producers may use it to feed finishing lambs from October to December and/or as a substitute for maintenance feeding from March to May.
Tedera is most productive in medium to high rainfall environments, although it has also shown potential in lower rainfall areas.
The pasture grows year round and can easily be adapted to continuous or rotational grazing requirements.
It has shown it can maintain performance in below average rainfall seasons, providing growers with greater flexibility to optimise stock management.
This includes maintaining stock in dry years, reducing or delaying the need to provide supplementary feeding.
Producers can also use the pasture to assist livestock to maintain or gain weight to target out-of-season markets and the opportunity for premium prices.
Department testing has shown Lanza tedera has a high nutritional value, especially for sheep, while further testing is required for cattle.
- digestible organic matter – 73%
- crude protein – 17%
- metabolisable energy – 11.8 megajoules per kilogram of dry matter.
No animal health issues have been observed in any department grazing experiments.
Grazing can usually commence in late summer/early autumn the year after establishment.
Animals usually take a few days to start grazing Lanza tedera when first introduced, after which the pasture becomes thoroughly grazed, with no known palatability or acceptability issues.
Lanza is best suited to a range of well drained soils with a soil pH equal to or greater than 4.8, but tolerates short periods of transient waterlogging.
The variety can be susceptible to frost in low landscapes, but generally recovers quickly.
Tedera can be used as a continuous pasture or in phase pastures of three to five years, as part of a cropping rotation.
The new variety can be susceptible to some pasture pests, which can be controlled effectively using registered treatments.
The plant has some susceptibility to leaf spots (Phoma herbarum) and multiple miniature leaves (Phytoplasma), as well as root knot nematodes that are mostly found in horticultural areas.
It is imperative to ensure paddocks are weed free and that the weed seed bank is minimised before sowing to ensure good establishment.
As Lanza tedera is likely to be grown on soils that do not contain suitable rhizobia, seed must be inoculated with a special strain of the tedera Rhizobium available from local seed merchants.
Fungicide and insecticide have proven effective when applied to seed crops and in research experiments.
The pasture can be established with conventional seeding equipment, at a rate of 10 kilograms per hectare at a depth of two centimetres.
In most regions tedera can be sown into moist soil during autumn, early winter or spring, however, in regions with cold winters, spring sowing is recommended.
Fertiliser applications are similar to subclover, while herbicides registered for clover based pastures can be used to control weeds.
For more detailed information on Lanza tedera agronomy, grazing and bio-economic modelling visit the department’s website.
Lanza tedera was developed as part of a pasture species breeding program with the Plant Based Solutions for Dryland Salinity Cooperative Research Centre, which later became the future Farm Industries CRC.
Meat & Livestock Australia also supplied supporting funding to develop the animal production and agronomic package.
Seed will be available from Landmark stores and wholesale distribution outlets.
For more information contact Dr Daniel Real, senior research officer, South Perth, +61 (0)8 9368 3879.