Samuel Anderson

B.Ag.Sci. Honours (2015)

Dry matter production and botanical composition of four pasture species and their seed mixes after an autumn sowing (PDF 5.7MB)

Research Overview

Intensive lamb production requires high quality forage to finish lambs. However, traditional pasture mixtures of perennial ryegrass and white clover often fail to deliver due to slow cool-season growth and a low proportion of clover at critical times. The purpose of this study was to create a mixture of suitable pasture species and develop sowing strategies to improve pasture production for lamb finishing. Monocultures and mixtures were created using different combinations and sowing rates of ‘Base’ perennial ryegrass, ‘Apex’ white clover, ‘Tonic’ plantain, and ‘Sensation’ red clover. Results showed pasture mixtures with 50%, or more, of tetraploid perennial ryegrass and/or plantain resulted in yields between 3.0-3.9 t DM/ha. White and red clover monocultures produced poor yields (<2.0 t DM/ha) and had high weed content (60% of total yield). Pasture mixtures were dominated by ryegrass and plantain even when clover composed 50% of the seed mixture originally sown. Alternate drill row sowing produced small improvements in white clover content, but accumulated yield was not affected. Sam was supervised by Dr Alistair Black