WITH the support of Liebe Group partner Landmark and Australian seed company Seednet, a three-year demonstration of the summer active perennial pasture species Lanza tedera will be established at the Fitzsimons's property at Buntine.
This demonstration will provide growers with an opportunity to explore the benefits of this perennial legume for livestock production, nitrogen fixation and its contribution to the sustainable management of soils at high risk of erosion.
Lanza tedera is a herbaceous drought-tolerant perennial pasture legume, suited to Mediterranean climates.
Lanza tedera has only recently become commercially available to mixed farmers in WA after 10 years in research and development which was conducted by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) senior research officer Daniel Real.
A native forage to the Canary Islands of Spain, this perennial legume pasture provides WA mixed farmers a suitable and highly nutritious summer grazing crop to fill the critical summer feed-gap.
Establishment of a summer active perennial reduces economic pressure on mixed farmers who would otherwise be purchasing and hand feeding grain, pellets, hay and straw.
Furthermore, the herbaceous nature of the plant provides suitable ground cover to reduce soil erosion on high risk paddocks, reduces soil surface temperature encouraging beneficial microorganisms to flourish, contributes to the nitrogen cycle due to it being a legume species and increases soil organic matter due to the crop providing permanent ground cover year round.
This demonstration has been developed through the initiative of host farmer Ross Fitzsimons, who has a keen interest in seeing how this pasture species could perform in their business.
The Fitzsimons family run 3000 head of sheep and rely significantly on stubble grazing and supplementary grain feeding to maintain the condition of their flock over summer drought periods.
The sheep enterprise is an important part of their business but they are looking at new and innovative ways to improve their margins while also reducing impact on the natural resource base and increasing on-farm vegetation and biodiversity.
For further information about this demonstration, contact the Liebe Group on email@example.com.