Tropical Grasslands (2003) Volume 37, 151–164

Experiences with farm pastures at the former CSIRO Samford Research Station, south-east Queensland, and how these relate to results from 40 years of research

R.M. JONES and G.A. BUNCH

CSIRO Livestock Industries, Brisbane, Australia

Abstract

Samford Research Station in coastal south-east Queensland was operated by CSIRO from the late 1950s2002. Many experiments on tropical legumes and grasses were carried out on the station and many farm pastures were sown. Furthermore, once most experiments had ended, they were grazed as farm pastures. Hence, considerable experience was gained about how different species did or did not persist under farm grazing. This paper outlines these experiences with individual species of legumes and grasses and discusses how they relate to experimental results. In general, performance of species in farm pastures was similar to the results from experiments, provided the experiments were run for long enough and with appropriate grazing pressures. The main reason for the failure of short-term experiments to predict long-term results was that they did not allow sufficient time to establish whether recruitment could compensate for death of the original plants.
The most persistent legumes were perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata), Pinto peanut (Arachis pinto) cv. Amarillo and leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala), followed by siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) cv. Siratro, white clover (Trifolium repens) and Shaw creeping vigna (Vigna parkeri), all of which persisted in some situations. The most persistent and aggressive grass was Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), with reasonable persistence from Queensland blue couch (Digitaria didactyla) and setaria (Setaria sphacelata).

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