Coming soon to a farm near you: NSW and Victoria by Cathy Nicoll

Part of the NAPLIP team: (left to right) Brian Dear NSW Agriculture, Phil Nichols Agriculture WA and Graeme Sandral NSW Agriculture.

Close-up of YL012.

Close-up of YL012.

Urana subclover — a new, acid-tolerant, early-maturing subclover with excellent winter production. It has also been rated the best-performing early-maturing subclover sown on pastoral soils in the northern grainbelt. Compared to Dalkeith, Urana shows improved resistance to RLEM and is tolerant of clover scorch, produces 5-10 per cent more hard seed, and produces more dry matter.

However, Urana maintains lower seed reserves, making it more susceptible to droughts and false breaks. It will be recommended in areas receiving 400-475 mm of rainfall annually and can be mixed with Dalkeith, York subclovers or Hykon rose clover.

King yellow serradella (Ornithopus spp.) — King is a new earlier maturing yellow serradella (85 d.t.f) that is softer seeded (70 per cent hard seed) than Santorini or Charano (90 per cent hard seed). In NSW King has out-performed these cultivars in terms of seedling regeneration and dry matter production. Dehulling King achieves about 42 per cent free seed while in Madeira only 22 per cent of the seed is dehulled. It will be suitable for sowing with Cadiz serradella, Dalkeith and Urana subclover.

YL012 subclover (subsp. yanninicum) — a late-maturing subclover that has a production as good as Trikkala in winter and considerably better in spring. Like all yanninicums, the variety is adapted to waterlogged areas and it should play a major role in the high-rainfall areas of southern Australia, including south-west Western Australia. The plant is suited to higher-rainfall areas with a growing season of more than seven months.

Trials in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania have all shown excellent growth in late spring, high seed yields, and good insect and disease resistance. The variety is yet to be officially named. Seed increase programs will commence this year.

Contact: Mr Graeme Sandral 02 6938 1850 Mr Pedro Evans 03 5573 0907

South and Western Australia

Jester barrel medic — a general purpose hard-seeded, mid-season barrel medic (Medicago truncatuld) with good aphid resistance, particularly spotted alfalfa aphid and blue-green aphid. As a hybrid of Jemalong, Jester retains the performance and adaptability characteristics of Jemalong and, apart from aphid resistance, is practically indistinguishable from it, even retaining the familiar leaf blotch.

Jester flowers a few days to a week later than Mogul with similar maturity to Paraggio, and has a higher hard seed content than both varieties which will allow it to persist better through longer cropping phases. Like Jemalong, it can be expected to perform well on a wide range of soil types from calcareous sandy loams to red-brown earths to grey-black clay loams that receive 350-500 mm average annual rainfall. Commercial seed crops are to be grown in 2001, with commercial seed available to farmers in 2002.

Toreador—a disc x strand medic hybrid (Medicago tornata x littoralis) which was selected for 'disc'-like characteristics and adaptation to deeper, sandy soils. The variety should do well on neutral to alkaline sandy soils in the 275-400 mm average annual rainfall zone, particularly the sandier rises of mallee dune swale systems (e.g. parts of Murray Mallee, Upper Eyre Peninsula, Victorian Mallee and WA).

Toreador has good resistance to blue-green aphid and low/moderate resistance to spotted alfalfa aphid. It flowers 1-3 weeks earlier than Tornafield and Rivoli disc medics and slightly earlier than Herald and Harbinger strand medics. Toreador would be a good component of mixtures of different cultivars for sowing in areas with variable soil textures and where a range of maturity and hard-seededness is indicated (e.g. Toreador + Herald + Caliph/Mogul/Paraggio etc). It is planned to have commercial partner(s) by early 2001 with seed commercially available in 2002.

Cavalier (Medicago polymorpha) — a more productive burr medic cultivar to replace Circle Valley. Cavalier has better dry matter production, seed yield and regeneration than Circle Valley. Around 200 kg of seed has been produced. Commercial partners will be sought during 2001 with a view to commercial seed multiplication in 2002 and commercial seed being available in the autumn of 2003.

Scimitar (Medicago polymorpha) — is a potential replacement for Santiago. Scimitar has significantly less hard seed than Santiago, which has led to much improved regeneration. Commercial partners will be sought during 2001 with a view to commercial seed multiplication in 2002 and commercial seed being available in the autumn of 2003.

Contact; Dr Jake Howie 08 8303 9407, Dr Philip-Beale 08 8524 9017

NAPLIP's new arrival in flower — Toreador disc medic.
NAPLIP's new arrival in flower — Toreador disc medic.

Aphids avoid the resistant Jester, but devour Jemalong.
Aphids avoid the resistant Jester, but devour Jemalong.


Spiny burr medic (Medicago polymorpha) — based on collections of naturalised members of this genus, a group of elite lines of burr medics may be developed if commercial plantings of Cavalier and Scimitar do not perform in the northern grain zone as well as is currently expected.

SA8460 button medic (Medicago orbicularis) — a productive annual medic, producing up to 7 t/ha of dry matter (in 1998 spring trials), which would be a useful complement to early-flowering barrel medics in lower-rainfall environments. A drawback is susceptibility to aphids.

Producing large quantities of very hard seed, the species persists well in farming systems that experience adverse (dry) conditions. Although small proportions of soft seed are released at the critical time for re-establishment, adequate gemiination is likely because of the very large amount of seed produced. A final decision has not been made regarding the commercial development of a new variety, but at this stage seed increase will commence in 2002, with commercial release likely in 2003.

Juanita Burgundy bean and Cadarga Burgundy bean {Macroptilium bracteatum) — both forage legume cultivars are rapidly growing, tropical, twining legumes which should be useful in short-term rotations in the northern grainbelt. Trials are also evaluating the variety in the northern NSW grainbelt. Both are productive (3-4 t/ha dry matter in an average season) and they have the ability to regenerate from seed.

Seed yields of 1-1.5 t/ha have been measured. Juanita and Cadarga are reasonably easy legumes to establish with their large seeds and a consequent ability to establish from depth when drilled into wet soil. They are well accepted by cattle, achieving good liveweight gains of up to 1 kg/head/day in trials during the summer. They can also be readily controlled with herbicides in subsequent crops. It is hoped that a composite of both seed varieties will be available for commercial sowings in the 2001 season.

Contact: Dr David Lloyd 07 4688 1261

Turn to p14 for a profile on butterfly pea, a pasture legume stirring considerable interest in Central Queensland

Also on pastures, growers interested in eliminating lucerne from a paddock going into crop, may find some handy hints in our update p18 'Now you've got it — how to kill It?'

Region North