New legumes for enhanced sheep/cattle production in dry tropical environments

Gardiner, Chris, and De Cat, Sandra (2014) New legumes for enhanced sheep/cattle production in dry tropical environments. In: Proceedings of the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference. From: AVA 2014: Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, 25-30 May 2014, Perth, WA, Australia.

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Abstract

A significant amount of Queensland’s sheep and cattle production is based in the semi-arid central western and north western Mitchell Grass Downs Bioregion where native grasses predominate. Unlike southern Australia, few if any sown pasture legumes have been successfully incorporated in to these regions yet there are severe annual dry season protein droughts and generally the diet on offer is of poor quality resulting in less than ideal sheep and cattle production. The predominant grasses in the region are the native 3P Astrebla species (Mitchell grasses) and the annual Iselima species (Flinders grass). Both are highly regarded by graziers because of their adaptation to the harsh climate and edaphic environment. Both grasses respond and grow rapidly in the short wet season but their nutritive quality then quickly deteriorates as they mature into the long dry season. An adapted legume would potentially have a positive impact on sheep and cattle production as legumes have done elsewhere by providing a higher quality diet throughout the growing season and particularly when the native grass species are haying off into the dry season. Desmanthus is a Mimosaceae legume that has been evaluated for this region and recently a blend named Progardes Desmanthus has been released. It has a crude protein content of some 20% in leaf, 10% in stems and upto 30% in seeds. They are palatable legumes and compatible with the native grasses and like the native grasses they are also well adapted to the climate and edaphic environment of the region. These legumes have significant potential to enhance sheep and cattle production in the Mitchell Grass Downs Bioregion and other similar environments.

Item ID: 35071
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
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Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2015 02:19
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070799 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830301 Beef Cattle @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830311 Sheep - Wool @ 50%
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