Tropical Grasslands (2000) Volume 34, 162–168

Pastures on cropping soils: which tropical pasture legume to use?

B.C. PENGELLY1 and M.J. CONWAY2

1CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Brisbane
2QDPI, Emerald, Queensland, Australia

Abstract

Changes in the economics of cereal and beef production in the northern Australian cropping zone, together with a realisation that soil fertility decline is a major constraint in the production of prime hard wheat, has led to increased interest from producers in short- and long-term ley legume pasture systems. Several legumes, including lablab, leucaena, butterfly pea, caatinga stylo and desmanthus are now commercially available for use in this tropical and subtropical zone. Each has advantages and drawbacks in particular farming systems. This paper outlines the best uses of these legumes within the northern cropping zone and suggests areas of research and development that must take place to improve the available suite of legume cultivars and to enhance their adoption.

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