Low cost pasture legume establishment for sandy soils in the Victorian Mallee

Roy Latta1, Michael Moodie2

1 Ouyen, Vic., 3490, Roy.Latta1@bigpond.com

2 Moodie Agronomy, PO Box 10189, Mildura, Vic, 3502

Abstract

Field experiments on two soil types, sand and loam, were established at Walpeup in north-west Victoria in 2015. The aims of the experiments were to compare the establishment, regeneration and production of annual medics, serradella, bladder clover and vetch. The field plots were established by seed pod or scarified seed and either sown with a cereal in 2015 or sown as monocultures in 2016. The experiments set out to prove or disprove the hypotheses that; (1) “Sowing forage legumes with a cereal is a reliable and low cost method of establishment” and (2) “There are better adapted, and more productive, forage legumes than vetch for the Mallee”.  Sowing both traditional and alternative pasture legumes with a barley crop in the year prior to the pasture phase was shown to be as productive as sowing them as monocultures at, at least twice the seeding rate in the pasture phase. However the barley grain yield was reduced by more than 0.5 t/ha as a result of the alternate pasture barley row sowing configuration. In the 2016 pasture phase, vetch sown as a monoculture was found to be similar, or more productive, than the annual medics and serradella. The 2016 annual medic production was generally similar irrespective of cultivar, being sown as pods or seed or whether it was sown with barley in 2015 or sown as a monoculture in 2016. The aerial seeded serradella and bladder clover were more productive in 2016, when sown with barley in 2015, than when spread into crop residue in February 2016.

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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