New guide for sowing sub-tropical grasses

Countryman

The Department of Agriculture and Food has produced a new user-friendly guide for the sowing of sub-tropical grasses.

Department research officer Geoff Moore said the 'Establishment guide for sub-tropical grasses' was primarily aimed at northern and south coast agricultural areas where sub-tropical perennial grasses were widely sown.

The guide is also applicable to other agricultural areas of Australia with winter-dominant rainfall climates that are not prone to frosts.

"Perennial grasses have a number of production and natural resource management benefits, but their establishment has not always matched expectations, with many examples of poor or failed establishment," Mr Moore said.

"However some producers experienced regular success, demonstrating that uniform establishment at the paddock scale was possible.

"We needed to have a better understanding of the underlying principles for successful establishment to make it more reliable.

"Overall, the establishment of sub-tropical grasses has improved dramatically in recent years."

Mr Moore said major factors that contributed to improvements included furrow sowing, better weed control and an improved understanding of sub-tropical grass establishment.

"The guide describes the key steps for the successful establishment of sub-tropical perennial grasses, provides research and development results to support the recommendations and a series of case studies from leading producers," he said.

"By adopting key elements of the package, producers can expect much higher and more even plant establishment."

Copies of the 'Establishment guide for sub-tropical grasses' are available from the department website at agric.wa.gov.au or from most department offices.

The work was funded by the department, Future Farm Industries CRC, Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd, the former Land and Water Australia and Caring for our Country.

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