Tropical Grasslands (1982) Volume 16, 55–62

A STUDY OF CATTLE GRAZING IMPROVED AND NATIVE PASTURES IN SOUTH-EAST QUEENSLAND AND SOME DYNAMICS OF SIRATRO-BASED PASTURES

D.C. NICOL1, W.J. BISSET2 and THE LATE G.W.C. MARLOWE3

1Department of Primary Industries, Bundaberg, Qld 4670.
2Formerly Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane, Qld 4000.
3Formerly Department of Primary Industries, Bundaberg, Qld 4670.

Abstract

In an unreplicated experiment mean liveweight gains per animal and per hectare were 67% and 305% greater, respectively, from steers grazing fertilised Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum)-green couch grass (Cynodon dactylon) pastures at 1.5 beasts ha-1 than from steers grazing unfertilised native pastures of mainly speargrass (Heteropogon contortus) at 0.62 beasts ha-1 over a 4-year period. Oversowing Siratro-green couch grass pastures with improved grasses gave no significant additional increase in liveweight gain. Supplementation with energy increased liveweight gain during the supplemented period in one year but gave no overall liveweight benefit.
Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana cv. Pioneer) and setaria (Setaria sphacelata var. sericea cv. Kazungula) proved to be vigorous and persistent companions for Siratro in this environment. Green panic (Panicum maximum var. trichoglume cv. Petrie) and plicatulum (Paspalum plicatulum cv. Rodd's Bay) were unsuccessful.

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