Sow a mixed bag of legumes

Sowing a mixed bag of different pasture legume species could result in a more productive and sustainable cropping system, according to early results from a large rotation experiment near Northam, WA. Preliminary research results indicated that wheat crops were more productive after such a mixture than after pure subterranean clover, and this was probably due to increased nitrogen. These results were obtained in the years after pasture establishment and need to be confirmed through several cycles of pasture and crop rotations. Weed management, in regenerating pastures, could still influence the success of such a strategy. Chemical control could be used to reduce competition from weeds and give legumes some advantage. However, differences in herbicide tolerance amongst legumes need to be considered, according to the researchers. The researchers also said grazing can be used to effectively control weeds but should not start before seedlings are well established.

Contact: Dr Anyou Liu or Dr Clinton Revell 08 9690 2000