An exciting pasture legume trial at the WA College of Agriculture Cunderdin is providing students with valuable first hand experience of advances in pasture development and grazing strategies.
Students attended a field walk and address with Dr Daniel Real from the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development at the College property in Cunderdin to learn more about Tedera, a legume plant originating from the Canary Islands.
The site at Cunderdin was planted in July 2017 with a variety of trials including times of sowing, row spacing, sowing rates, seeding depths, fertilizer options and defoliation management used.
Dr Real indicated that a plant specific inoculant has been developed for the Tedera plants and this is not active on any other legume species.
Some plants also did not receive any inoculation at seeding and the responses were clear to see compared to the control trial groups.
Assistant Farm Manager Leanne Grant-Williams said students were able to see the results from a variety of trials.
“Information was available in a very comprehensive form with site maps so that students could see how the crop was growing over the season,” Mrs Grant-Williams said.
“The field trial has been mown 4 times since planting to estimate the plant bio mass.
“Students were able to see the effects of frost on some of the older plants and observed the recently cut plants (grazing simulated) were not affected by the frost.”
Dr Real explained to the students the plant’s ability to withstand drought. Plant Production teacher Justin Fox along with the livestock farm staff all attended the trial site and all agreed that the plant would be a good addition to the College grazing strategies.
“Tedera is suited to fill the summer and autumn feed gap and when managed with grazing strategies, will produce an abundance of quality feed matter that is suitable for all livestock finishing operations,” Mr Fox said.
“The College hopes to develop the current site further and continue to be involved with DPIRD and monitoring this exciting new forage species.”