‘Virtual field day’ looks at which Legume is best
07 Feb 2022
PRODUCTION ADVICE/ NRM NEWS - FEBRUARY 2022 - AGRONOMY
By John Fowler
P: 03 5881 9933 | M: 0427 079 138 | E: email@example.com
With COVID restrictions making face-to-face field days difficult, a new ‘Virtual Field Day’ is allowing Murray Local Land Services to share findings from our recent irrigated legume trials.
The Virtual Field Day allows you to see footage of the trial plots in Berrigan and Logie Brae and learn about the performance of each legume variety.
Findings from the trials include:
The site was sown to fourteen annual and two perennial pasture legumes in autumn 2019 and was well irrigated every autumn and spring. However, by 2021 most of the legumes had either failed to regenerate or had been displaced by more competitive species.
Only balansa clover and sub clovers, such as Trikkala, persisted for three seasons. Lucerne also persevered, except where water ponded when persistent rain events followed an irrigation. The only Persian clover in this trial, a soft seeded variety called ‘Laser’, also failed to persist.
Of the three sub clover varieties in the trial, Antas was the standout performer in the first two seasons, producing substantially more growth than either Trikkala or Yanco. However, Antas regeneration was quite poor in the third year, with autumn seedling counts of only 324 seedlings/m2, compared to Trikkala at 957 seedlings/m2. This meant that by the autumn and winter of third year, production from Antas was considerably less than Trikkala because early pasture production is strongly linked to seedling population. However, even though Antas had a much lower plant population, its vigour led to it producing more growth in the spring than Trikkala.
The trial at Logie Brae was sown a year later than the Berrigan site. This site was sown to seven annual legumes in pure swards and nine other treatments that were a mixture of two legume species.
Plots containing either Antas sub clover, SARDI Persian clover or Arrowleaf clover produced the most pasture. The Antas was only in its second year, so it remains to be seen how well it will regenerate in the third year.
SARDI, which has a higher proportion of hard seed than other Persian clovers such as Laser and Shaftal, regenerated well in the second year.
Arrowleaf clover was the standout spring producer. It regenerated very well at the Logie Brae site but has failed to do so at other locations. This suggests it may have a niche role as an annual hay crop species.
Try the ‘Virtual Field Day:
Landholders can access the virtual field day here.
Logging onto the site allows you to select which trials and which plots to view. Each plot contains a short dialogue on its performance.
The funding to produce the virtual field day was generously provided by Southern Growers.
This project is supported by Murray Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
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