Progardes Desmanthus - an update

Gardiner, Chris, Kempe, Chloe, Kempe, Nick, Campbell, Greg, Fleury, Heitor, Malau-Aduli, Aduli, Walker, Glen, Suybeng, Benedicte, and Mwangi, Felista (2019) Progardes Desmanthus - an update. In: [Presented at the Northern Beef Research Update Conference]. 211. From: Northern Beef Research Update Conference, 19-22 August 2019, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Introduction: Some 35,000 ha has now been sown to ProgardesTM Desmanthus since its launch in 2012. It has been sown primarily across Queensland, but also into northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory. The targeted soil types have been Vertosols and related, mainly neutral to alkaline clay soils in semiarid environments. Progardes is a blend of typically 5 PBR registered varieties of Desmanthus (cv JCU 1-5).

Update information: Four new cultivars, JCU 6-9, are in seed increase. Agrimix Pastures and James Cook University are evaluating and selecting new accessions of Desmanthus, particularly those that have persisted through drought and grazing. Many of these are being evaluated across inland northern Australia through a CRC supported project. Cultivar JCU 2 has recently been shown to access soil moisture to >1.2 m and be productive in NSW. A Desmanthus breeding program that includes intraspecific and interspecific crosses is well advanced, with crosses undergoing field evaluation. There is interest also in other species to complement Progardes including new varieties of Stylosanthes, Clitoria and Centrosema that show considerable promise.

Research regarding new advanced strains of Rhizobia specifically for Progardes are also being undertaken, including isolating effective strains from the native legume Neptunia and from adventive and cultivated Desmanthus plants. Nodules from these plants have been collected from a wide geographic area across northern Queensland, particularly from semiarid neutral to alkaline soils. It’s expected that these new strains from the native environment will be resilient to both abiotic and edaphic environmental factors and particularly to heat and alkalinity. Already some new strains have scored better in terms of plant growth than the existing recommended commercial inoculant.

Investigations regarding in vitro and in vivo antimethanogenic properties of JCU Desmanthus cultivars have or are currently being undertaken. Formal and informal producer paired paddock trials are investigating nutritive attributes and botanical composition of pastures with and without ProgardesTM . This work is expected to confirm liveweight gains in the order of an additional 40 kg/head per year over grass alone pastures and confirm the value of sown legumes for beef cattle production systems.

Item ID: 59873
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
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Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2019 02:00
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070305 Crop and Pasture Improvement (Selection and Breeding) @ 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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