Tropical Grasslands (1991) Volume 25, 129136
Sustaining productive pastures in the tropics
N.M. CLARKSON1, P.T. MEARS2, K.F. LOWE3 and D.L. LLOYD1
Pasture Management Branch, QDPI:
This paper discusses the distribution, importance, current status and future research needs of three groups of temperate legumes which grow with tropical grasses in eastern Australia. Lucerne (Medicago sativa), is best adapted to more fertile soils in sub-coastal and inland areas. White clover (Trifolium repens), other Trifolium species and Lotus grow mainly in the sub-tropical coastal areas of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. Annual legumes adapted to drier inland areas include annual medics (Medicago spp.) on slightly acid to alkaline loams and clays, sub clover (T. subterraneum) on moderately acid sandy and loamy soils and serradella (Ornithopus spp.) on moderately to strongly acid sandy soils. The total area where mixed pastures of temperate legumes and tropical grasses are adapted is at least the size of Victoria.