Accelerating uptake of leucaena-based pastures
Leucaena-based pastures offer one of the most productive feed-base options for northern beef producers where rainfall and soils are suitable. The Accelerating uptake of leucaena-based pastures project aimed to:
- review and upgrade the Leucaena Code of Practice into a Best Management Code of Conduct
- produce information materials on responsible and productive use and management of leucaena and sponsor training opportunities to assist producers increase their skills and knowledge
- support and be engaged in the consultation process for the commercialisation of the psyllid resistant variety, Redlands
- support the release of Redlands variety through the coordination of field and training activities
- facilitate and conduct field trials to support environmental permit registrations for use of herbicides to control weedy leucaena
- facilitate and conduct on-farm field trials in commercial paddocks to determine the impact of fertiliser on leucaena growth and cattle production, with support from graziers.
Leucaena-based pastures offer one of the most productive feed-base options for northern beef producers where rainfall and soils are suitable. The Leucaena Network (TLN) aims to provide beef producers with a range of industry information and education tools to meet the increasing integration of Leucaena into pasture management. This project has also assisted in the establishment of two producer demonstration sites (PDS) and provided a level of financial support for activities coordinated by the Network.
The project work has focussed on reviewing and re-invigorating the leucaena industry Code of Practice, providing industry management and training materials and facilitating workshops and training days.
TLN has also initiated work on fertiliser applications in established leucaena pastures and is currently facilitating a number of trials to gain additional environmental chemical permits to control unwanted wild leucaena that exists across Queensland. This work is in collaboration with AgForce, Dow Agro Science and DAFF Qld.
Estimates indicate that leucaena production in Queensland has surpassed 250,000 ha. A sustained dry period throughout Queensland together with a single leucaena seed supplier has slowed adoption during the project period. The ‘early adopter’ phase has past; the task of moving into second phase of broader adoption is far more challenging. There is a major requirement to continue the promotion and education of leucaena’s grazing value for high value beef production.
Redlands leucaena will play a significant role in expanding leucaena’s adoption as a primary legume for pasture fed cattle. The new variety has enormous economic benefits to the beef industry in coastal, tropical regions where psyllid infestation has limited the adoption of leucaena based pastures in northern Australia.
When: 2013 – 2016
Contact: Michael T Burgis
Collaborator: The Leucaena Network
To learn more, please read the final report summary and download the final report (P.PSH.0665) (PDF, 933.9 KB) from the Meat & Livestock Australia website.