Spyglass Update – Keeping Roo hopping

Queensland Pasture Resilience Program project site at Spyglass Beef Research Station
Kendrick ‘Roo’ Cox in the Mekong grass plot

Queensland Pasture Resilience Program North Queensland team leader Kendrick ‘Roo’ Cox, has been kept hopping over recent months, showing off pasture trial sites at Spyglass Beef Research Station.

More than 40 producers, 56 extension advisors and 8 students have visited the trial sites in recent months to learn more about the options for establishing legume-based sown pastures in the north.
Participants of the field walk standing amongst the trial plots of the northern Queensland Pasture Resilience Program site at Spyglass Beef Research Station

Two attendees of the paddock walk closely examine the pasture species at the Spyglass Beef Research Station trial site.
Producers checking out the grass/legume combinations at a Spyglass paddock walk in May 2023

Featuring 7 grass and 9 legume species, the smaller of the two trial sites on Spyglass was established in a red earth soil. With 63 grass/legume combinations being tested, the site is providing some great data on the best combinations for this type of country. Sown in February 2020 with excellent rainfall for establishment, the site gives producers an opportunity to compare species options firsthand. A number of recently released and yet to be released varieties have been used, including:

  • Massai (Panicum maximum) – a late flowering panic variety
  • ATF714 (Panicum coloratum) – new panic variety
  • Mekong (Brachiara brizantha) – a later flowering grass producing high biomass
  • New Siratro variety (Macroptilium atropurpureum TGS84989)

The larger 80-hectare trial site was sown in February 2021. Also featuring grass/legume combinations, this site will provide knowledge about production benefits versus establishment costs for the trialled species:

  • Leucaena (Redlands – commercially available, highly psyllid tolerant)
  • Desmanthus mix (commercially available – Progardes, Marc + 3 trial varieties)
  • Stylo mix (Verano, Seca, Caatinga)
  • Grass mix (Urochloa, Bissett bluegrass, Keppel bluegrass, Katambora Rhodes, Gatton panic).

The Queensland Pasture Resilience Program is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Australian Government through the MLA Donor Company.

Visit the Queensland Pasture Resilience Program page or contact Kendrick (kendrick.cox@daf.qld.gov.au or 0438 138 262) to find out more.