New Pastures to Increase Livestock Productivity in the North.
One of the goals for this CRC-P research was to identify and evaluate different methods to establish Progardes® Desmanthus in northern Australia.
Land type: Gidgee/Boree
Average annual rainfall: 475mm
The 420ha paddock was cleared in 2017 and aerially sown to Progardes® Desmanthus.
Most years since then have had below average rainfall but the Progardes® and buffel grass has persisted and improved over the recent seasons.
This year started poorly in terms of rainfall but good rain fell in May promoting legume and grass growth.
Currently the paddock is stocked with weaners, with liveweight data, faecal samples and Botanal data (botanical composition of the pasture) being collected.
Chris Gardiner (JCU) and the team revisited John and Ann-Marie Cowan’s Peronne Station in July this year to record their observations, noting that the Progardes® is proving to be very palatable and well-grazed and they expect this is contributing to good protein and energy intake for the weaners.
The team has also planted a range of multipurpose tree and shrub species for observation and testing for shade, shelter, drought fodder and nitrogen-fixing.
To date, all species have survived and some have grown particularly well in this western Queensland environment.
We’ll check back with Chris and the team after the data-collection in September – keep an eye out for the results.
This research was partially funded by the Australian Government through a Cooperative Research Centres Projects grant (CRC Project No. 58599).