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Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and greater lotus (Lotus uliginosus) in perennial pastures in eastern Australia 2. Adaptation and applications of lotus-based pasture



Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and greater lotus (Lotus uliginosus) in perennial pastures in eastern Australia 2. Adaptation and applications of lotus-based pasture



Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46(4): 521-534



This co-learning study with greater lotus ( Lotus uliginosus Schukr.) and birdsfoot trefoil ( Lotus corniculatus L.) was undertaken in the Perennial Pasture Zone of New South Wales ( NSW), Australia, in conjunction with 14 community groups. The overall study combined a field experiment investigating grazing management practices with a co-learning study assessing the adaptation and potential applications of these 2 Lotus species. The present paper reports on the co-learning study. Seventeen sites were established on farms situated in the North Coast, Northern Tablelands, North West Slopes, South Coast and Southern Tablelands regions of NSW. Of the 17 co-learning sites, greater lotus or birdsfoot trefoil was established successfully and yielded useful findings at 9 of 10 sites in northern NSW and 3 of 7 sites in southern NSW. Establishment failure of greater lotus or birdsfoot trefoil at the 5 remaining sites was associated with severe drought conditions at, or shortly following, sowing. Results from across the 4 regions are collated to report on the adaptation of the 2 Lotus species to a diversity of climatic, edaphic and management applications. The study has confirmed that greater lotus is a valuable perennial legume for high rainfall coastal plains, coastal low-lands, coastal hill-country and niche tablelands environments where the average annual rainfall (AAR) exceeds 1000 mm. Significantly, the study shows that birdsfoot trefoil has important potential for low fertility acidic soils on tablelands and slopes where the AAR is 650 - 1000 mm, especially in northern NSW.

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Accession: 066194568

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DOI: 10.1071/ea04242


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