Kate Wilson

B.Ag.Sci. Honours (2013)

Can Russell lupins provide high quality forage for Merino sheep on dryland Mackenzie Basin properties? (PDF unavailable)

Research Overview

Russell lupin is a tap-rooted perennial that tolerates acidic and infertile soils, but published information on the performance of Merinos grazing lupins is very limited. At Sawdon Station, near Tekapo in the Mackenzie Basin, 100-140 Merino ewes and their lambs had been stocked on 10 ha of Russell lupins over two years (2011/12 and 2012/13). Kate found that from tailing in December to weaning in February the lambs on the lupins grew 30-50 g/day slower than lambs on lucerne and other conventional pastures on the farm. Lambing percentage on the lupins was 103% compared with 93% on the control pastures. The average fibre diameter of the wool from the lupin and control ewes was similar at 18.5 microns, and the average fleece weight of the lupin ewes was only about 0.3 kg lighter. Kate was supervised by Dr Alistair Black and Prof. Jon Hickford.