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#1247685 - 09/03/2014 11:18 Native perennial grasses and their grazing.
adon Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 19/08/2004
Posts: 5251
Loc: Not tellin!
Hi all,

I am looking for some native grasses to re establish on my farm. I am hoping to have at least part of it a native(possibly improved slightly) pasture permanently. This first area if am going to do it not suitable for cropping but does provide some very handy pasture growth for livestock. I am hoping to improve it's holding capacity through the use of native perennial pastures and holistic livestock management practices. But first I need to get some more perennials growing to give myself a head start.

I am after some native perennial seed to sow this winter if possible. While I am not going to limit the planting I am after a couple of species specifically. One is Panicum maximum cv Petrie. In some previous trials, this grass did fairly well considering how dry our summers can be. It is a summer active grass so it would help fill some of the feed gap most of the mallee experiences with annual pastures and cereal stubbles. I am also after some winter active species for better, more reliable pasture growth during the cool months.

My hope is to establish a majority perennial population of pasture. It has the most reliable growth, can quickly provide fodder after a rain, and will help to improve the soil structure by re establishing deep rooted plants and the soil carbon they provide.

Now I am thinking that a lot of people would think "why not Lucerne?" Well I run Dorpers, they are not fans of high quality feed like Lucerne and tend to aviod it until it has started to go rank. They will even try to get out of paddocks if they have only high quantity feed on offer. They are sheep that do well on poor quality, and more fibreous feed. Also Lucerne does seem to have the ability to our compete a lot of other plants, due to the tap root and probably breeding for competitiveness.

Is anybody able to point me in the direction of native perennial seed?

Cheers

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#1262005 - 02/05/2014 12:49 Re: Native perennial grasses and their grazing. [Re: adon]
monoply Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 02/05/2014
Posts: 3
Loc: Central Vic
http://www.nativegrasses.com.au/contact_us.html

Also Colin Seis sells seed for native pastures, but he also advocates not buying seed for native grasses, but rather managing so the ones you have naturally regenerate. After 50 years of conventional farming, he found native pasture seed on his property came back without sowing any seed. There is a huge natural seed bank.

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#1262033 - 02/05/2014 14:07 Re: Native perennial grasses and their grazing. [Re: adon]
monoply Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 02/05/2014
Posts: 3
Loc: Central Vic
STIPA has been involved with over 400 trials and
have not seen a single site where a viable native
grass seed bank has not been present. Livestock
management clearly influences what seeds
germinate and establish.

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#1262132 - 02/05/2014 19:24 Re: Native perennial grasses and their grazing. [Re: adon]
adon Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 19/08/2004
Posts: 5251
Loc: Not tellin!
Cheers mate yeah found some of that stuff since I posted. I met Colin before at a trial of pasture cropping down in my area. While I am not convinced about pasture cropping in the mallee, I do think that just using pasture for Dorpers is. It would truly be amazing if I have a widespread germination of native perennials on my place. It has been conventionally farmed for 100+ years and while I am not sure of my grandfathers attitudes towards native pasture! dad was never a big fan of it on the cropping country.

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