Consol lovegrass

Page last updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - 9:36am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Management

New stands should not be grazed until the plants are well anchored. Good grazing management is essential, as coarse rank growth loses quality and is unattractive to livestock.

Consol can tolerate short periods of set-stocking but rotational grazing is preferable. It should be grazed regularly so that stock are always grazing young to medium regrowth. The grazing intensity should be sufficient to graze the area in less than three weeks, after which the paddock should be spelled for two to six weeks depending on rainfall. In Queensland, lovegrass rotationally grazed every eight weeks resulted in much higher dry matter production compared with a four-week grazing cycle.

Application of nitrogen to Consol lovegrass stands will increase production and forage quality substantially. If phosphorus and potassium are applied to meet the needs of a companion legume, the requirements of the consol lovegrass will also be met.

Consol tolerates fire and this can be used strategically to rejuvenate old stands. For instance, rank pastures that have been under-grazed can be burnt in early spring to promote a new flush of growth.

Pests and diseases are usually not a major problem.

Companion species

Serradella and subterranean clover are suitable annual legumes depending on the soil type. In New South Wales, Consol lovegrass has been grown with lucerne on mildly acid soils and also with Rhodes grass and premier digit grass.

Consol lovegrass with serradella in the inter-row
Consol lovegrass (central row) with serradella in the inter-row.

Cultivars

Consol (a public variety) is the only African lovegrass cultivar available in Australia. Seed may be difficult to obtain.

Contact information

Geoff Moore
+61 (0)8 9368 3293

Author

Geoff Moore