Fiona Tomney (SARDI)
|Contributor||SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre|
Site 14, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA
Legume pastures have been pivotal to sustainable agricultural development in southern Australia. They provide highly nutritious feed for livestock, act as a disease break for many cereal root pathogens, and improve soil fertility through nitrogen (N) fixation. Despite these benefits, pasture renovation rates remain low and there are opportunities to improve the pasture base on many low to medium rainfall mixed farms across southern Australia. There are also reports of poor protein levels in wheat following medic pastures and many reports of poor medic nodulation. Previous work has shown that substantial responses to inoculation are possible in the Victorian Mallee, which is possibly linked to the poor N fixation capacity of some populations of soil rhizobia. The extent to which inoculation can still improve medic nodulation on Eyre Peninsula requires clarification.
The Dryland Legume Pasture Systems (DLPS) project aims to develop recently discovered pasture legumes together with innovative management techniques that benefit animal and crop production and promote their adoption on mixed farms in the low and medium rainfall areas of WA, SA, Vic and southern NSW. One objective within this work program is to increase the amount of fixed N provided by the pasture.
This is a component of a new five year Rural Research and Development for Profit funded project supported by GRDC, MLA and AWI; and involving Murdoch University, CSIRO, SARDI, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; Charles Sturt University and grower groups.
|Lead research organisation||
South Australian Research and Development Institute
|Host research organisation||
SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
|Trial funding source||GRDC RnD4Profit-16-03-010|
|Trial funding source||AWI RnD4Profit-16-03-010|
|Trial funding source||MLA RnD4Profit-16-03-010|
|Trial funding source||AGRR&D RnD4Profit-16-03-010|
Dryland Legume Pasture Systems (Rural R&D for Profit)
This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program; the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat and Livestock Australia; and Australian Wool Innovation. The research partners include the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Murdoch University, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and Charles Sturt University, as well as 10 grower groups.
Project code: RnD4Profit-16-03-010
|Other trial partners||Murdoch University, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and Charles Sturt University|
|Sow rate or Target density||10 kg/ha|
The trial at Minnipa in paddock S8 was arranged in a fully randomized block design, with four replications. A similar trial has also been established at Lameroo, SA.
The experiment comprised three inoculation treatments (no rhizobia applied or, standard and high rates of inoculation) and four legumes. The legume species were Herald strand medic, representing an ‘old’ medic; PM250 strand medic, representing a ‘new’ medic; Z2447 medic, a medic with putative improvements in N-fixation capacity; and trigonella, a new legume that is also nodulated by medic rhizobia. The high rate of inoculation was applied as a double rate of recommended label rates of peat inoculant on seed and supplemented with inoculated glass micro-beads also inoculated at double rate and sown at 10 kg/ha with the seed.
Prior to sowing, plots were sampled at 0-10&
|Sow date||27 June 2018|
|Harvest date||Not specified|
|Plot size||5m x 1.5m|
|Plot blocking||fully randomised block design|
|Plot randomisation||fully randomised block design|
The trial site was sprayed before sowing with 1.5 L/ha Weedmaster (Glyphosate) + 80 ml/ha Nail and 300 ml/100 L of LI 700, to kill any naturalized medic plants that had germinated.
The trial suffered two pest attacks. Firstly by Cowpea aphids which appeared on all lines but at higher density on the vetches, and then by Native Budworm. Fortunately both of these pests were brought under control and did not appear to have caused any lasting damage.
|Inoculant||The experiment comprised three inoculation treatments (no rhizobia applied or, standard and high rates of inoculation)|
||Plant density (plants/m2)||Rhizobia (Number/seed)|
|1||█ Trigonella balansae||█ No rhizobia||37||0|
|2||█ Trigonella medium||█ Standard||49||11000|
|3||█ Trigonella high||█ High*||47||22000|
|4||█ Z2447 nil||█ No rhizobia||66||0|
|5||█ Z2447 medium||█ Standard||83||15500|
|6||█ Z2447 high||█ High||75||33500|
|7||█ PM250 nil||█ Nil||90||0|
|8||█ PM250 medium||█ Standard||103||12200|
|9||█ PM250 high||█ High||79||29000|
|10||█ Herald nil||█ Nil||75||0|
|11||█ Herald medium||█ Standard||80||16750|
|12||█ Herald high||█ High||116||33500|
|Rainfall avg ann (mm)||325mm|
|Rainfall avg gsr (mm)||242mm|
|Rainfall trial total (mm)||269mm|
|Rainfall trial gsr (mm)||208mm|
SILO weather estimates sourced from https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/
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.