Farm Table says:
What is the problem?
Pasture legumes have an important role as components of leys in rotation with crops or permanent pastures in fixing nitrogen as well as providing high-quality forage for grazing livestock. This paper reports the results of an experiment conducted to assess the performance of a range of legumes as measured by their herbage mass.
What did the research involve?
The experiment contained 80 mostly annual and biennial winter-growing legume cultivars and lines were sown at sites near Curban, Terry Hie Hie and Moree in the central west and northern New South Wales in 1998 and 1999. The Curban site had Yellow Kandosol soil with an annual average rainfall of 550mm.
What were the key findings?
From May to October 1998, rainfall was more than double the long-term average at all of the sites. However, in 1999, rainfall tended to be average to above average in autumn and spring, but below average in winter. Across sites, the standard ‘test’ cultivars, ‘Junee’ and ‘Clare’ subterranean clover and ‘Aquarius’ and ‘Aurora’ lucerne were ranked 27th, 26th, 41st, and 54th, respectively in 1998 and 10th,1st, 18th, and 23rd, respectively in 1999.
This study has shown that Trifolium sp. As a group performed well during the 2 years of this study and have potential in the summer-dominant rainfall environment of northern New South Wales, Australia.