New legume capable of persisting in dry times

Hannah, Iain, and Gardiner, Chris (2013) New legume capable of persisting in dry times. Queensland Country Life, 01 April 2013. pp. 1-3.

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Abstract

As major parts of Queensland are again in the grips of unusually dry conditions, Progardes, a recently released legume is demonstrating persistence in the harshest of conditions. The Progardes had received just two small rainfall events since December but was thriving.

Agrimix General Manager Iain Hannah and JCU lecturer and researcher used the Richmond weigh-in as an opportunity to check on the progress of the Progardes trial plot.

They are now extremely confident the Progardes will prove to be a fodder that can withstand some very tough conditions. The legume has proven extremely successful in central and southern Queensland where over 10,000ha have been successfully established. The Progardes has been proven to have 20 per cent protein content in the leaf and up to 12pc in the stem. Agrimix are now at the stage of commercial production in Central Queensland and with several trial plots across the north-west including a 250ha plot near Hughenden, Mr Hannah is confident it will prove to be a big plus to beef production in the north.

Progardes (www.progardes.com.au ) is a perennial tropical legume developed over 20 years of research by Chris Gardiner from James Cook University and in recent years Agrimix, a Queensland based agriculture technology group. Progardes has been bred to be productive and persistent in clay soils and persist in low rainfall semi-arid conditions. The legume is a highly palatable legume, with high protein content, with good biomass potential, non-thorny and non-toxic, frost and grazing tolerant plant of around waist height. Progardes has the potential to make significant impacts on animal production and ecosystem function whether it is live weight gains, increased stocking rates, turn off weights and timing, improved wool production, reproductive performance, reduced methane production or sustaining grasslands.

As testament to Progardes's strength, it was observed recently at the Richmond Beef challenge despite the 57mm of rain received all summer, to be about the only plant of value growing and providing protein and quality feed.

Item ID: 28812
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
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Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2013 03:15
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8304 Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops > 830406 Sown Pastures (excl. Lucerne) @ 100%
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