Potential new legume for sandy and duplex soils

French (pink) serradella persisting well on a duplex soil at an experimental site near Yass, NSW, November 2021.

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is funding new research to develop serradellas as a viable legume option for permanent pasture systems in the higher rainfall environments of south-eastern Australia. Legumes can benefit pasture systems by supplying biologically fixed nitrogen and provide a source of high-quality dry matter.

Serradellas are annual legumes that have the potential to be productive on both sandy and duplex soil types.

Benefits of serradellas include:

  • low bloat risk
  • low oestrogenic activity
  • lower requirement for phosphorus fertiliser relative to subterranean clover.

Researchers from CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture are establishing a network of experiments across diverse environments from Glen Innes (Northern Tablelands of NSW) to the midlands region of Tasmania.

The experiments are assessing the flowering time and seed characteristics of a range of existing cultivars of yellow serradella and French serradella also known as ‘pink’ serradella (see image below), along with some breeding lines to identify material best suited to these environments.

Additional work is also underway to:

  • demonstrate the persistence, dry matter production and feed value of these cultivars
  • establish suitable agronomic guidelines for establishing serradellas (e.g. sowing rates, companion species) in these systems.

Researchers have identified a small number of cultivars with useful persistence traits in the target environments, based on preliminary experiments. The research team are working with producers (including Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee, Tablelands Farming Systems, Monaro Farming Systems and in the midlands region of Tasmania) to establish MLA Producer Demonstration Sites aimed at demonstrating the production and persistence of serradellas under paddock conditions.

How can you get involved?

A key step in the research is to capture industry experiences with growing serradellas in this region. If you are a producer, retailer or advisor operating in the permanent pasture zones of south-eastern Australia, we would like to hear from you about:

  • your experience and interest in serradellas (even if you have no prior knowledge or experience with them)
  • what information you would need before considering serradellas as an option/recommendation.

There are separate surveys for producers, agricultural retailers and advisors/consultants, so please choose the best fit for your circumstance.

If you complete the survey by Wednesday 21 December 2022, you will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a $200 gift card from a major retailer (a gift card can be won for each survey category).

Complete the survey

If you are a:

  • Producer, click here to complete the survey.
  • Agricultural retailer, click here to complete the survey.
  • Advisor or consultant, click here to complete the survey.

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