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Perennial pastures renovation demonstration: turning failure into success


Smith, R and Hall, E and Hurst, A and Martin, G, Perennial pastures renovation demonstration: turning failure into success, Tamar NRM and the Australian Government, Hobart, Australia (2014) [Contract Report]

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This Greenhythe site was initially established in 2010 to demonstrate the attributes of newly developed perennial pasture cultivars. It aims to assist with producer decision making and increase producer confidence in sowing alternative perennial pasture species. It was one of three in the Piperís River area that was supported by The Piperís River Neighbourhood Group which helped attract funding from Tamar NRM through the Australian Governmentís ĎCaring for Our Countyí program. The lack of perennial cover in many pastures in the north-east region was one of the driving forces behind the demonstration. As the demonstration progressed, the site also became a good learning tool to learn about the challenges of renovating pastures.

The major demonstration on this site has been the evaluation of 10 perennial grass, 11 perennial and annual legume and two herb species/cultivars. As with many of the TIA Herbage Development Programís (HDP) demonstrations there has been a strong focus of the evaluation on persistence. There are a number of factors at this site that can restrict the persistence of certain pasture species including; shallow variable soil, prone to waterlogging, competitive existing grass weeds, and low fertility. Waterlogging during winter prevents sowing in early spring due to the ground conditions for machinery. It also affects plants that have low tolerance of waterlogging. In summer the site dries very quickly and the soil sets very hard. Plants that have shallow roots, restricted by waterlogging conditions during winter can find it difficult to access moisture in summer.

The demonstration was sown in a matrix design consisting of two blocks and allows a comparison of the compatibility of grasses and legumes/herbs. Frequency counts were used as an index of the persistence of sown species. The results presented here only provide a very early snapshot of which species will and will not persist long term under the conditions specific to this site.

There was also a smaller fertiliser trial sown to demonstrate the effect that the low fertility was having on the establishment of the pasture, and legumes in particular. Trace elements, lime, superphosphate and potash were applied in varying rates.

Item Details

Item Type:Contract Report
Keywords:Pasture renovation, alternative species
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Crop and pasture improvement (incl. selection and breeding)
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Pasture, browse and fodder crops
Objective Field:Sown pastures (excl. lucerne)
UTAS Author:Smith, R (Dr Rowan Smith)
UTAS Author:Hall, E (Mr Eric Hall)
UTAS Author:Hurst, A (Ms Andrea Hurst)
UTAS Author:Martin, G (Mr Gary Martin)
ID Code:118174
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2017-07-05
Last Modified:2017-07-07

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