Dryland Legume Pasture Systems: Boron tolerant annual medics


Research organisaton
Funding sources

Trial details

Researcher(s) David Peck
Contact email fiona.tomney@sa.gov.au
Contact phone 0459857691
Year(s) 2019
Contributor SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Trial location(s) Site 14, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA
Related trials
Dryland Legume Pasture Systems: Boron tolerant annual medics locations

Part 1: Medic cultivars were grown in soil with high boron levels in a glasshouse, leaf damage symptoms recorded and cultivars allocated to different tolerance groups (Howie 2012). 

Part 2: The above identified that all spineless burr medic cultivars are susceptible to high boron levels. Screening wild accessions (supplied by the Australian Pasture Genebank) identified a burr medic accession with boron tolerance and vigorous growth. The boron tolerant accession was crossed with current spineless burr medic cultivars Scimitar and Cavalier. F2 plants with high early vigour were selected and a molecular marker used to identify homozygous boron tolerant plants. A single seed descent breeding method using speed breeding was used to obtain uniform lines. Lines were seed increased at Waite in 2018 and lines with the highest agronomic performance selected for 2019 field evaluation trials. A cohort of 16 boron tolerant lines along with their  parents and barrel medic cultivars that differ in boron tolerance, were sown at Roseworthy and Minnipa. The trials were managed as best practice first year annual medics to maximise dry matter and seed production. Best practice consists of a high sowing rate (10 kg/ha), controlling broadleaf and grass weeds, monitoring and controlling insects and no grazing. Dry matter production was  assessed and pods collected. Seed yield will be determined by April 2020.

Key messages
  • Annual medics are widely grown on neutral to alkaline soils that commonly contain high levels of boron in the subsoil that reduce plant growth.
  • Boron tolerant barrel, strand and disc medic cultivars exist, but all spineless burr medic cultivars are intolerant of high boron levels.
  • A cohort of boron tolerant spineless burr medics have been developed and entered field evaluation trials at Minnipa and Roseworthy in 2019.
Lead research organisation N/A
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source AWI RnD4Profit-16-03-101
Trial funding source GRDC RnD4Profit-16-03-101
Trial funding source MLA RnD4Profit-16-03-101
Trial funding source Department of Agriculture RnD4Profit-16-03-101
Related program N/A

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture 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. The trial at Roseworthy is located on a University of Adelaide research farm. 

Other trial partners Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Medic
Treatment type(s)
  • Crop: Type
  • Soil: Type
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Randomised,Blocked

Minnipa Agricultural Centre 2019

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size 5m x 1.5m
Plot replication 4
Plot blocking Random
Plot randomisation Random blocks
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information
Trial source data and summary not available
Check the trial report PDF for trial results.
Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Site 14, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Red sandy loam
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source: ASRIS
Trial site Soil order
Site 14, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Anthroposol
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 14, Minnipa Agricultural Centre SA
2019 403.6mm
2018 429.5mm
2017 443.9mm
2016 405.1mm
2015 379.2mm
2014 440.5mm
2013 402.0mm
2012 445.2mm
2011 465.2mm
2010 442.3mm
2009 474.7mm
2008 403.9mm
2007 395.3mm
2006 423.0mm
2005 379.0mm
2004 360.2mm
2003 378.0mm
2002 382.0mm
2001 444.0mm
2000 464.3mm
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 14, Minnipa Agricultural Centre SA


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

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.

Trial report and links

2019 trial report

Trial last modified: 21-07-2020 13:11pm AEST