Discontinued legume trials yield potentially valuable genotypes

1Chris Gardiner, 2Sarah Ashanut Ossiya, 3José Henrique de Albuquerque Rangel

1 James Cook University, Townsville Queensland 4811, christopher.gardiner@jcu.edu.au
2 African Union – Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources, Uganda
3 EMBRAPA, Aracaju/SE Brazil

Abstract

Across northern Queensland and other regions various institutions such as CSIRO, Department of Agricultures, Universities and seed companies have over the decades sown numerous pasture trials consisting of multiple species and accessions with the aim of seeking new well adapted pasture plants for particular climate and edaphic circumstances. Often these trials are on private farms and are operational for relatively short times such as 2-3 years but then they are discontinued and abandoned. The trial sites then typically become incorporated into regularly farmed/grazed paddocks and in many cases they become forgotten about. The well-adapted species at these sites however survive and persist in the given environment, often for decades. These discontinued trial sites can be extremely valuable as the pasture species that have survived have usually been thoroughly tested by the test of time, enduring droughts, floods, grazing, fire, insects, that is, the full gambit of biotic and abiotic tests. Thus surviving accessions are potentially a valuable resource not only for northern Australia but similar climates in Africa, Central and South America and Asia. This paper outlines a number of discontinued trials particularly in north Queensland and highlights some long surviving accessions of potential such as various accessions of Arachis, Centrosema, Desmanthus, and Macroptilium, and encourages others to seek out and re-evaluate old discontinued trial sites which may contain accessions with potential for the grazing industry.

Host

The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography david_marland@hotmail.com Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

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