Effect of basal frequency on phalaris (Phalaris aquatica) pasture production

Jeff McCormick1, Zoe Lynch2, Jason Condon1

1 Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (Charles Sturt University and NSW Department of Primary Industries), Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga NSW 2678, jmccormick@csu.edu.au,

2 Heritage Seeds, “Shrublands”, 4421 Riverina Highway, Howlong NSW 2643


A plot experiment was conducted to determine a critical phalaris basal frequency for pasture production. Small plots (0.84m2) in an existing phalaris pasture were modified to a range of basal frequencies (40-50%, 30-39%, 20-29%, and 10-19%). Pasture dry matter and composition was assessed during the growing season. Phalaris production was reduced when basal frequency was below 20% but growth of annual grasses and subterranean clover resulted in no differences for total seasonal production. The addition of nitrogen increased total pasture production by 37% but reduced clover production by 45%. It is suggested that if basal frequency of phalaris is below 20% then management strategies need to be implemented to increase basal frequency or re-sowing the pasture should be considered.



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.

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

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