L.C. LESLEIGHTER1 and H.M. SHELTON2
1Queensland Country Life, G.P.O. Box 711, Brisbane, Qld. Australia 4001.
2Department of Agriculture, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Qld. Australia 4067
A survey was conducted in November, 1984 to quantify the level of adoption of leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit) in central and southeast Queensland and to determine reasons for the suspected low level of adoption. The survey was of 1208 farms from 14 shires in the statistical divisions of Fitzroy, Wide Bay-Burnett, and Moreton. These comprised 30% of the beef and dairy producers in these divisions. Valid responses were received from 451 producers.
Results showed a low level of adoption in terms of area planted and number of growers using leucaena (6% of respondents). Adoption was limited by a low level of awareness (only 60% had heard of leucaena), a lack of information and a high failure rate (65% of area originally planted), However, data indicated that by 1986 there would be a more than 10-fold increase in the area planted and a 3-fold increase in number of growers. Adoption was greatest in the Fitzroy Division and was greater for beef than for dairy producers. Other factors influencing adoption of leucaena such as property characteristics, attitudes and experiences, and information levels and sources are discussed. The high failure rate of leucaena plantings was linked to low level of use of recommended cultural practices such as scarification and inoculation, and the many small plantings (71% of areas < 4.1 ha) which were vulnerable to damage by feral animals.