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An innovation hub for the woolgrowers of Australia

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06.12.2019 Source: AWEX
AWEX EMI 1492
Micron 17 1914 -54
Micron 18 1798 -51
Micron 19 1712 -31
Micron 20 1674 -26
Micron 21 1671 -29
Micron 22 1664n -70
Micron 26 1133n -28
Micron 28 835 -10
Micron 30 684n -10
Micron 32 435n -25
MCar 1077 -2
Grasses

Choosing the right pasture mix for the enterprise and location is essential, particularly in a more variable climate. AWI invests in pasture breeding, selection and commercialisation to make available to woolgrowers a suite of high performance pasture legumes and grasses that support profitable, sustainable wool production.

Introduced and native perennial grasses provide good options for woolgrowers wanting to grow a year-round supply of feed and protect natural resources.

Making More from Sheep – Grow More Pasture

This online tool will help you assess your pastures to determine if the existing species are limiting pasture growth and quality and weigh up the benefits, costs and risks of sowing new pastures and prepare a developmental budget before spending large amounts of capital.

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On-Farm Options – Feedbase and pasture species

This online tool provides a collection of resources from across regions to assist in making the right choices to improve the feedbase.

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Feed On Offer Library

The Feed On Offer (FOO) library allows users to estimate FOO and nutritive value of grazed pastures. Animal performance is determined by the quality and quantity of pasture available and when known, better decisions can be made on allocation of stock to paddocks or supplementary feeding.

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AWI Feedbase Projects

Phalaris is the most widely-sown, temperate perennial grass in the inland high-rainfall zone and adjacent cropping areas in southern Australia. Over the last 100 years, as least 2.5 million hectares were sown to phalaris.

AWI and the CSIRO bred and released the widely sown phalaris cultivars, Atlas PG, Australian II, Holdfast and Landmaster, and recently developed three new phalaris cultivars:

Holdfast GT, a general-purpose, winter-active cultivar more persistent under heavy grazing pressure in areas where phalaris is widely sown.
Advanced AT, an aluminium-tolerant cultivar for acid soils.
A heat tolerant cultivar adapted to the NSW north-west slopes.

Benefits of New Phalaris Cultivars

Holdfast GT is a winter-active cultivar with improved persistence under grazing. It combines the grazing tolerance of Australian phalaris with the high productivity of winter-active cultivars. Holdfast GT could extend the area sown to phalaris by 0.5-1.0 million hectares.

Advanced AT is a new aluminium tolerant cultivar bred for more reliable establishment of phalaris-based pastures on 0.3 million hectares of southern Australian acid soils.

A heat tolerant cultivar for the north-west slopes of NSW is projected to provide high quality forage to help fill the severe winter feed gap on 0.35 million hectares in this region.

Phalaris toxicity and phalaris staggers can affect sheep grazing short, frosted or drought-affected phalaris regrowth. The greatest risk is when sheep eat large amounts of toxic herbage quickly, particularly in autumn or early winter.

Minimise problems by orally administering cobalt bullets to sheep before stocking the paddock, and not introducing hungry stock to lush, green phalaris-based pastures.


Selecting Pasture Cultivars

Pastures Australia developed Pasture picker, an on-line tool for woolgrowers and other producers seeking independent information on pasture species, management and agronomy across a range of environments. Pastures Australia aimed to lift returns from pastures in Australian farming systems by coordinating pasture investments by AWI, Meat & Livestock Australia, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

Articles That Might Interest You
Legumes
Legume pastures are a high quality source of animal feed that are palatable, highly digestible and high in protein. Read more
Weed and Pest Management
Insect pest damage and competition for space and nutrients from weeds can significantly reduce the productivity and persistence of Australian pasture Read more
Grazing Management
AWI invests in pasture and grazing management to develop profitable and sustainable pasture systems across all production zones and pasture types. Read more