Response of perennial ryegrass (
Lolium perenne) to renovation in Australian dairy pastures
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Callow, MN and Fulkerson, WJ and Donaghy, DJ and Morris, RJ and Sweeney, G and Upjohn, B, Response of perennial ryegrass (
Lolium perenne) to renovation in Australian dairy pastures, Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 45, (12) pp. 1559-1565. ISSN 0816-1089 (2005) [Refereed Article]
This study reports on the effect of oversowing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) into a degraded perennial ryegrass and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) pasture to extend its productive life using various intensities of seedbed preparation. Sites in New South Wales (NSW), Western Australia (WA), South Australia (SA) and Tasmania (Tas.) were chosen by a local group of farmers as being degraded and in need of renovation. Control (nil renovation) and medium (mulch and graze, spray with glyphosphate and sow) renovation treatments were common to all sites whereas minimum (mulch and graze, and sow) and full seedbed (graze and spray with glyphosphate and then full seedbed preparation) renovation were imposed only at some sites. Plots varied in area from 0.14 to 0.50 ha, and were renovated then sown in March or April 2000 and subsequently grazed by dairy cows. Pasture utilisation was estimated from pre- and post-grazing pasture mass assessed by a rising plate pasture meter. Utilised herbage mass of the renovated treatments was significantly higher than control plots in period 1 (planting to August) and 2 (first spring) at the NSW site only. There was no difference among treatments in period 3 (first summer) at any site, and only at the WA and NSW sites in period 4 (March to July 2001) was there a response to renovation. As a result, renovation at the NSW site only significantly increased ryegrass utilisation over the whole experimental period. Ryegrass plant density was higher at the NSW, WA (excluding minimum renovation) and Tas. (excluding full renovation) sites 6 months after renovation but this was only sustained for 12 months for the minimum and medium treatments at the NSW and Tas. sites, respectively, presumably due to reduced competition from naturalised C4 summer grasses [kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) and paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum)] in NSW At the NSW, WA and SA sites, the original ryegrass plant density was low (<35 plants/m2) compared with the Tas. site where density was around 185/m2. The response to renovating a degraded perennial ryegrass pasture varied between sites in Australia. Positive responses were generally small and were most consistent where renovation removed competing C4 summer grasses. © CSIRO 2005.
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