Testing Tropical Pastures in 

Southern NSW

Holbrook Landcare Network is currently in its first year of an MLA funded Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) known as ‘Testing Tropicals in the NSW southern slopes’. The project was established in response to increasing summer rainfall in the region and aims to demonstrate the role of tropical pastures species in southern NSW grazing systems.

Why?

The southern slopes are dominated by winter perennials or annual pastures and there are few perennial species that are currently capable of best utilizing summer rainfall (with the exception of and Lucerne which is constrained by soil factors and the need for rotational grazing)

Further challenges in summer feed production include seasonal rainfall downgrading the quality of dry standing feed from winter pastures resulting in reduced weaner growth rates and increased dependency on supplementary feeding.  By producing a greater volume of higher quality feed in late spring, summer and autumn, producers could reduce feeding costs, improve/maintain livestock growth rates over the summer period, and increase the feed base in late autumn moving into winter, better positioning livestock enterprises

The Project

Holbrook Landcare currently has 2 Producer Demonstration Sites on farms at Henty and Yerong Creek. 

Our Yerong Creek site will demonstrate both the dry matter production and quality of a Digit grass and Kikuyu mix and the impact on liveweight gain on both merino and cross bred sheep. Our Henty site will exhibit the performance of a 2021 sown Digit grass stand and the role it plays in an angus cattle operation for both breeder and weaner weight gains.

So far, we have seen the role of these tropical species be both good options for livestock maintenance and growth over the summer period and we look forward to monitoring their impact on different breeds and classes of sheep and cattle over the next 6 years. For anyone wanting more information, project updates, or wishing to become involved, contact Emma Smith on 0411 626 181 or [email protected]

Project Report

The latest project report will be available soon!


Resources

Videos

 
Tropical grasses for southern environments – Sue Boschma (DPI)  Riverina Pastures Research Update

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKLM8wsKuo0 

NSW DPI tropical grass webinar series:

  • Successful establishment in southern NSW  (1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbVrZa7dEUA

  • Tropical grass development 2021 (2)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDS21lH2yCQ 

  • Barenbrug tropical research overview 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-UWZB3uxlw

  • Farmer video

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CCzVFTcvTbQPaKzQCFknPlK2Qc2lWkOW/view?usp=sharing 

Reading

 
Establishing tropical pastures (Central West LLS)

Sub-tropical grass establishment

https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/pasture-establishment/sub-tropical-grass-establishment 

 

Increase feedbase production and quality of subtropical grass based pastures report

https://www.mla.com.au/research-and-development/reports/2018/increase-feedbase-production-and-quality-of-subtropical-grass-based-pastures/