Perennial pastures for marginal farming country in southern Queensland. 2. Potential new grass cultivar evaluation

Richard G. Silcock, Cass H. Finlay, Don S. Loch, Greg L. Harvey


Trials in the Condamine-Balonne basin, Australia, compared 11 promising perennial pasture grass accessions (4 Bothriochloa, 2 Cenchrus, 2 Urochloa and 1 each of Digitaria, Eragrostis and Panicum species) against the best similar commercial cultivars on the basis of ease of establishment from seed, persistence once established, forage yield and ease of seed production.  Accessions sown at a site were determined by prior experience with them on a range of soils.  High quality seed was relatively easy to produce for both Urochloa species and for Eragrostis curvula CPI 30374 but problematic for the Bothriochloa spp.  Once established, all accessions persisted for 3–5 years and most were well grazed, but adequate establishment was sometimes a problem with Panicum stapfianum and Bothriochloa ewartiana.  The dry matter yield ratings of the non-commercial lines were similar to those of the commercial equivalents of the same species.  While agronomically valuable, none of the promising new grasses was considered worthy of commercialization at this point because their strengths did not warrant the setting up of a seed-production business in competition with current commercial enterprises.  Long-standing cultivars such as Gayndah buffel and Nixon sabi grass continued to exhibit their superior pasture qualities.

Keywords: Herbicide tolerance, persistence, forage yield, establishment ease, commercialization, seed production.

DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(3)15-26

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