Tropical Grasslands (1982) Volume 16, 24–29

OBSERVATIONS ON THE PERSISTENCE AND POTENTIAL FOR BEEF PRODUCTION OF PASTURES BASED ON TRIFOLIUM SEMIPILOSUM AND LEUCAENA LEUCOCEPHALA IN SUBTROPICAL COASTAL QUEENSLAND

R.J. JONES and R.M. JONES

CSIRO Division of Tropical Crops and Pastures, 306 Carmody Road, St Lucia, Queensland, 4067.

Abstract

Legume-grass pastures based on Trifolium semipilosum (Kenya white clover) cv Safari and Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) cv. Peru persisted under grazing in a subtropical environment of south-east Queensland over an 11 year period of study. Stocking rates were increased from 1.2 to 3.0 yearling steers ha-1 on the Safari pasture and from 1.9 to 2.5 yearlings ha-1 on the leucaena pasture.
Mean annual liveweight gain ha-1 was 469 kg on Kenya white clover and 311 kg on the leucaena pasture. Animals on the leucaena pasture showed clinical signs of leucaena toxicity in two of the eleven years, with serum thyroxine levels below 16 n mol litre-1 and reduced weight gains in autumn.
Although both Kenya white clover and leucaena are usually slower to establish than alternative legumes in wider commercial use, such as white clover and Siratro, they appear to have additional potential for improving animal production in the humid Australian subtropics. As pastures based on leucaena and Kenya white clover can be stocked more heavily over summer they could also be used to complement Siratro-based pastures, which can benefit from lower stocking rates in summer and early autumn.

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