Lucerne in the crop rotation

CC BY 4.0

Research organisaton

Trial details

Researcher(s) David Watson (Agvise), Simon Falkiner (Falkiner Ag) and Cam Nicholson (Nicon Rural Services)
Year(s) 2013
Contributor Southern Farming Systems
Trial location(s) Site 7, Inverleigh, VIC
Lucerne in the crop rotation locations

To answer some key questions about lucerne in the crop rotation:

  • What is the impact of the lucerne phase on subsequent crops regarding yield, quality, soil moisture and nitrogen?
  • What is the best time to remove lucerne - spring or autumn?
  • What is the best method of removing lucerne?
  • What is the best crop rotation following lucerne?
  • What are the management implications of these insights from a farming system?
Key messages
  • Autumn removal of lucerne significantly decreased subsequent winter crop yields compared to spring removal of lucerne.
  • Crops sown after spring removal of lucerne yielded the same as the crops grown in a continuous crop rotation.
  • The crop yield penalty from autumn removal only lasts for one year.
  • Apart from Grazon, all other herbicide treatments gave unacceptable lucerne control.
  • Cultivation in combination with other herbicides will increase lucerne control by  20 to 30%. 
Lead research organisation N/A
Host research organisation N/A
Related program N/A
Acknowledgments N/A
Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Lucerne
Treatment type(s)
  • Crop
  • Crop: Rotation
  • Grazing
  • Grazing: Regime
Trial type Article/commentary
Trial design Not applicable

Inverleigh 2013

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information

Download results

Trial results Canola yield after lucerne removal at different times in 2012

# Variety
Treatment 1
Test weight (kg/hL) Oil (%) Screenings (%) Protein (%) Grain yield (t/ha)
1 Unspecified Canola after lucerne removal in spring 2010 68 37.6 N/A 23.3 2.6
2 Unspecified Canola after lucerne removal in autumn 2011 67 38.2 N/A 23.1 2.9
3 Unspecified Wheat after lucerne removal in spring 2010 64 N/A 2.5 11.4 3.2
4 Unspecified Wheat after lucerne removal in autumn 2011 62 N/A 2.3 11.8 3
5 Unspecified Barley after lucerne removal in spring 2010 64 N/A 8.5 13.3 2.4
6 Unspecified Barley after lucerne removal in autumn 2011 61 N/A 10.3 14.5 2.3

Grain yield t/ha


Oil %


Protein %


Screenings %


Test weight kg/hL

Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Site 7, Inverleigh, VIC Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Site 7, Inverleigh, VIC Sodosol
Soil Moisture Source: BOM/ANU
Average amount of water stored in the soil profile during the year, estimated by the OzWALD model-data fusion system.
Year Site 7, Inverleigh VIC
2013 567.4mm
2012 579.9mm
2011 580.5mm
2010 592.9mm
2009 508.8mm
2008 492.1mm
2007 455.4mm
2006 467.8mm
2005 491.2mm
2004 438.6mm
2003 416.4mm
2002 399.6mm
2001 472.4mm
2000 448.5mm
National soil grid Source: CSIRO/TERN
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Site 7, Inverleigh VIC


Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

Trial report and links

2013 trial report

Trial last modified: 23-10-2019 11:44am AEST