Stamina grazing-tolerant lucerne with true grazing tolerance
When identifying lucerne cultivars for true grazing tolerance, PGG Wrightson national product development manager Isaac Berry recommends Stamina GT varieties that persist under set-stocked grazing for prolonged periods and have been trialled in Australia over many years under the internationally recognised Standard Test Protocol.
According to PGG Wrightson, Stamina grazing-tolerant lucernes provide:
- high yields and strong stand density
- improved traffic tolerance
- lower crown height, causing less stress on crowns
- long term, reliable feed (five more more years of grazing)
- persistence under multiple grazings
- reduced risk of weed invasion by maintaining stand density for longer
- high return on investment
- strong recovery from drought
- the ability to tolerate pests and diseases such as aphids, Sitona Weevil, fungi and viruses
- quality hay production.
Mr Berry said the Stamina range of grazing-tolerant lucerne offered premium-quality hay and true grazing tolerance. The range includes Stamina GT5, Stamina GT6 and limited quantities available of the new highly winter active, grazing-tolerant lucerne, Stamina Torrens GT8.
Torrens GT8, a true dual-purpose lucerne
Combining winter activity and grazing tolerance, Torrens GT8 provided flexibility not previously available, Mr Berry said.
The low crown height protected the plant from heavy grazing, high tyre traffic or hoof damage, which meant the variety suited farm systems from hay production and crop rotations to grazing enterprises. It also gave producers more management options and the ability to respond to variable conditions.
“The new Torrens GT8 is an exciting, highly winter-active lucerne for the PGG Wrightson Seeds portfolio,” Mr Berry said.
“In recent grazing-tolerance trials, it was a true standout for persistence and ground cover compared to other winter-active lucerne cultivars.
“After two years of consistent periods of set stocking, Torrens GT8 was the only highly winter-active lucerne remaining, giving farmers confidence that Torrens GT8 can persist during times of feed shortages.”
Stamina GT5 and Stamina GT6 varieties will also persist under set-stocked grazing for prolonged periods and produce premium-quality hay, Mr Berry said. Robert Cameron grows Stamina GT5 in Barrabool, Victoria.
“If you are after grazing tolerance, Stamina GT5 is the way to go,” Mr Cameron said.
“I am in my fourth year of grazing and it keeps persisting, regardless of how hard we graze it.
“Choosing a grazing tolerant lucerne is a decision that should not be made lightly, and is something you really want to investigate yourself as opposed to just following what that glossy advertising suggests.
“For my operation, lucerne is a seven to 10 year investment and Stamina GT5 was definitely the right investment.”
GT6 also met with approval on farm from David Ferguson of New South Wales.
“We are particularly happy with how GT6 established in very tough conditions, the strike was terrific,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Persistence under heavy grazing is great, that’s why Stamina GT6 is our preferred variety when looking for a long-term lucerne stand.”
Article written by PGG Wrightson for Seasons magazine.