Tropical Grasslands (2001) Volume 35, 85–95

Evaluation of legumes and grasses in coastal south-east Queensland

R.M. JONES

CSIRO Tropical Agriculture, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Abstract

Seventy-four legume and 18 grass accessions were evaluated at 2 sites (Samford and Dayboro) in coastal south-east Queensland over 3–5 years. Both sites have an annual average rainfall of approximately 1100 mm. These sowings were part of a wider study at 12 sites, the results of which have been summarised by Cook et al. (1999). However, in that report, accessions were rated only in terms of suitability at each site and very few quantitative data were presented. This paper presents annual records of % frequency and/or percentage contribution to dry matter yield of all accessions tested. Sowings were made in 3 warm seasons (1994/95, 1995/96 and 1996/97) and in 1 cool season (1995). The last measurements were taken in 1999.
The highest legume yield in the year of sowing was from annuals, such as Vigna oblongifolia or short-term perennials such as Aeschynomene americana cv. Lee and Macroptilium lathyroides. The most consistent long-term perennial in terms of persistence and yield was Arachis pintoi (cv. Amarillo and ATF 2320). Accessions of the vegetatively planted Arachis glabrata were improving with time although their contribution to yield was low. A vegetatively established A. pintoi × A. repens hybrid spread much more quickly than did A. glabrata. Centrosema pubescens cv. Cardillo, Aeschynomene falcata (cv. Bargoo and ATF 2194) and Chamaecrista rotundifolia also showed promise. Results were reasonably consistent between the 2 sites.
The sown grasses were usually more successful at Dayboro than Samford, primarily due to the competition from re-invading Paspalum notatum at Samford. Chloris gayana cv. Callide and Panicum maximum cv. Natsuyutaka were persistent and productive at both sites when fertilised with nitrogen. Paspalum nicorae was slow to establish but was thickening up at both sites, although very slowly in the Paspalum notatum sward at Samford. Paspalum atratum and Paspalum regnellii were more successful in the wetter site at Samford, despite being gradually invaded by P. notatum, than they were at Dayboro. In contrast, accessions of Digitaria milanjiana were more successful at Dayboro.

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