Leucaena in southern inland Queensland
The Leucaena in southern inland Queensland project demonstrated to producers in southern inland Queensland, how to best grow and manage leucaena to produce a reliable, drought-tolerant, long-lasting summer-growing forage system.
The Leucaena in southern inland Queensland project showed graziers in southern inland Queensland where leucaena would grow and provided tips for management. The key focuses included how to grow it, varieties to use, companion grasses, and, equally importantly, how to manage it. In addition, the project set out to confirm site selection criteria, cultural requirements, row spacing, animal management and performance.
Demonstration sites were monitored for an additional three years. The project showed that leucaena in 5-8 m rows wide with vigorous grass between the rows will carry at least two adult equivalents per hectare over about 170 days from late October until late-May. In cooler and drier years, lower stocking rates can be expected. Steers on well-established leucaena pasture will average 0.8 kg live weight gain/day. Animal production during peak growing periods varied between 1 to 1.3 kg liveweight gain per day, but dropped to 0.5 kg per day at season’s end. The cause of the decline in average daily gain was due to a decline in grass quality and leucaena availability.
Growing leucaena in preferred sites will provide the greatest benefit to businesses. On the whole, leucaena provides a reliable, drought-tolerant, long-lasting summer-growing forage system. It has the potential to replace annual summer growing forage crops and supplement winter growing oats.
Project completed: August 2012