Blair Hamill

B.Ag.Sci. Honours (2015)

Sheep live-weight gain on cocksfoot-lupin compared with lucerne pastures in the first year (2014-2015) after establishment (PDF 2.4MB)

Research Overview

Lucerne is a highly regarded feed for lamb fattening in drought prone areas.  However, lucerne has a poor tolerance to acidic soils high in soluble aluminium. In the search for a legume to use in place of lucerne in these areas, lupins (Lupinus polyphyllus) have shown promise. Lupins grow wild in the low pH soils of the Mackenzie Basin and appear to thrive in that environment. The results showed liveweight gain was 768 kg/ha from cocksfoot-lupin pastures and 1126 kg/ha from the lucerne monoculture. The difference in live-weight gain per hectare occurred in response to the higher mean liveweight gains per animal and the higher mean stocking rate over the year on lucerne. Overall production on cocksfoot lupin pastures was 70% of lucerne in the first year after establishment suggesting cocksfoot-lupin as an alternative forage in areas unsuitable for lucerne. This project was supervised by Dr Alistair Black.