CULTIVAR SELECTION

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Species: Common name and scientific name.

Cultivar: Essential for selection purposes. Wide range of adaption to climate and soils.

Maturity: Return to What pasture legume? for more on Early, mid etc.

Soil texture: Self explaniary.

Hard seed at break of season: "Break of season" is the first good rain in autumn.

Species

Cultivar

Maturity

Soil texture

Hard seed - % at break of season.

Comments

BARREL MEDIC

M. truncatula

Parabinga

Early

Sandy loam to loam

80 to 90

More recent cultivars with generally better insect resistance.

Caliph

Early/mid

Loam to clays

85

Sephi

Early/mid

Sandy loams to clay loams

75 to 85

Jester

Mid

Sandy loams to clay loams

75 to 85

Mogul

Mid

Loams to clays

70 to 80

Paraggio

Mid

Sandy loams to clay loams

60 to 70

Cyprus

Early

Loams to clays

80 to 90

Older cultivars with less insest resistance. They have been most productive in the WANA region and should not be rejected out of hand. If the seed is cheaper can be included in seed mixture to reduce costs.

Hannaford

Mid

Sandy loams to loams

80 to 90

Borung

Mid

Loams to clays

70 to 80

Jemalong

Mid

Sandy loams to clay loams

75 to 85

DISC MEDIC

M. tornata

Tornafield

Mid

Light sand

70 to 80

This is the classic medic species for sandy soils. Used effectively in Libya.

Rivoli

Mid/late

Light sand

65 to 75

GAMA MEDIC

M. rugosa

Paraponto

Early/mid

Loams to clay loams

40 to 50

Lower hard seed can be a problem.

Erect growth habit makes it easier to cut for hay.

Sapo

Early/mid

Loams to clay loams

30 to 40

Paragosa

Early/mid

Loams to clay loams

30 to 40

HYBRID DISC MEDIC

Toreador

Early/mid

Sand to loam

70 to 85

MUREX MEDIC

M. murex

Zodiac

Mid/late

Red-brown earths to cracking clays.

50 to 70

Will grow on acid soils with the coreect inoculum.

SNAIL MEDIC

M. scutellata

Sava

Very early

Not suited to deep sandy soil.

75 to 85

Large pods and seeds make establishment easier.

Large pods can also be eaten by sheep.

Essex

Early/mid

Loams to clays

85 to 95

Kelson

Early/mid

Loams to clays

80 to 90

Silver

Early/mid

Sandy loams to clays

75 to 85

Robinson

Very early

Loams to clays

80 to 90

SPHERE MEDIC

M. sphaerocarpus

Orion

Mid

Range of soil types but not deep sand.

60 to 80

Will grow on acid soils but not as tolerant as Murex

SPINELESS BURR MEDIC

M. polymorpha var brevspina

Serena

Very early

Loams to clay loams

75 to 85

Serena is an excellent short season medic that is adapted to the marginal zone and even the rangeland.

Burr medic grows on slightly acid soils.

Santiago

Early/mid

Loams to clay loams

80 to 90

Circle Valley

Mid

Loams to clay loams

75 to 85

Cavalier

Mid

Loams to clay loams

70 to 80

Scimitar

Mid

Loams to clay loams

65 to 75

STRAND MEDIC

M. littoralis

Harbinger

Early/mid

Light textured soils

75 to 85

Harbinger is another classic cultivar that has been used widely in WANA

Herald

Early/mid

Light textured soils

75 to 85

Harbinga AR

Mid

Light textured soils

75 to 85

The above chart provides a comprehensive list of cultivars for the Cereal Zone of WANA. In fact there are so many that a choice is often difficult.

In addition to the above there are some new cultivars in the pipeline:-

Angel

This is a cultivars developed with resistance to sulfonylurea herbicides. These herbicides are used on cereal crops and in low rainfall areas thre can be problems with residue in the soil reducing the productivity of the following medic pasture. Angel is suited to loamy sand to loams. It is early/mid season.

Jaguar

This is a Strand Medic due to be released in 2007. It is the first "pod holding" medic. This makes it easier to harvest with conventional harvesters rather than suction machines. While this will no doubt make the seed cheaper the seed sheding characteristic is an important protection for medic. It makes grazing of the dry pods more difficult.

Sub Clover

There are also a wide range of sub clovers (Trifolium subterraneum) that have been used in the cereal zone of Western Australia.

They are generally suited to acid soils.

Their great draw back has been their low hard seed percentage.

This has meant that rotations such as the classic medic-cereal rotation have not been possible. There has been insufficient hard seed to carry over the cereal crop and allow a good regeneration of pasture in the following season.

Farmers have generally sown the Sub clover and grazed it with sheep for two or three years. They have then sown two cereal crops or a cereal crop followed by a grain legume followed by another cereal crop.

Some of the newer cultivars (particularly those for short seasons) have a higher percentage of hard seed that makes them an alternative to medic in a classic medic-cereal rotation.

Sub - species brachycalycinum

For the WANA region this sub species of sub clover may have a role. It is adapted to neutral to alkaline soils.

Cultivar

Maturity

Hard seed %

Rosedale

Mid

50

Mintaro

Mid/late

50

Clare

Mid/late

10

Antas

Late

20

From a personal point of view I have had great success with Clare and Rosedale. Mintaro is a new cultivar that is more productive than Rosedale.

Balansa Clover

This is another species that can be useful over a range of soil pHs.

Cultivar

Maturity

Hardseed %

Frontier

Mid

50

Paradana

Mid/late

50

Bolta

Late

50

    

Neutral soils.

    There are three main species of annual legume pastures commonly used on these neutral soils.

    Burr medic (M. polymorpha) - see the selection chart above.

    The Clare group of sub clovers (T. subterraneum - sub species brachycalcinum)
 
 

Season length

Cultivar T. subterraneum - brachycalcinum

Hard seed level

Late to mid season

Clare
Nuba

Low hard seed
Moderate hard seed

Mid season

Antas

Moderate hard seed

Mid to early season

Rosedale

Moderate hard seed.

    The low level of hard seed in some cultivars of Sub clover makes them unsuitable for a legume - cereal rotation but my own experience with Clare was that it survived and regenerated well in a two year rotation with cereals.

    Balsansa Clover (T. balansae) from Turkey is well adapted to the neutral/mid range of soil pH. There are a number of cultivars.
 

Acid soils.

    Sub clover (Trifolium subterraneum) was the starting point for the Australian farming revolution based on annual self regenerating legumes.

While scientists searched the list of legumes grown in Britain for plants suitable for the dryland farming areas of Australia an Australian farmer, Amos Howard, searched his own fields. He identified sub clover on his farm at Mt. Barker in the hills above Adelaide in the 1880's.

Mt. Barker is a late season Sub clover with a low level of hard seed.

It has been used as a permanent pasture on the parcour rather than in rotation with cereals.

In the 1930's another farmer in Western Australia extended the range by identifying Dwalganup a short season sub clover with considerably more hard seed that was suitable for legume - cereal rotations.

    Since then the scientific community has carried out considerable research and produced an extensive range of sub clover cultivars for all combinations of rainfall and soil types with an acidic pH.

    It is impossible to list all the sub clovers but an indicative list of suitable cultivars is shown below.
 
 

Length of season

Sub clover cultivar

Hard seed level

Very late

Leura

Very low

Late to mid

Denmark
Karridale

Low

Mid

Woogenellup
Junee
Coolamon
Campeda

Low
Moderate
Moderate
High

Mid to early

Seaton Park LF
York

Moderate
Very high

Early

Urana
Losa
Dalkeith

High

Very early

Nungarin
Ismir

High

    As well as the sub clovers there are Rose clover and Serradella cultivars that are particularly suited to sandy soils (although sub clovers will grow well on a wide range of soil types).
   There are a range of cultivars suited to the mid and early parts of the cereal zone that have high levels of hard seed. These can be grown in rotation with cereals. For late season sub clovers there are fewer cultivars with high levels of hard seed. These are less suitable for a rotation.

Water logged soils.

    The Yaninnicum sub species of T. subterraneum is well suited to waterlogged soils. As sub clovers they prefer acid soils. Old cultivars such as Yarloop had high levels of oestrogen like substances that reduced sheep fertility but all the new cultivars listed below have been selected for low levels of oestrogen.
 
 

Length of season

Cultivar of T. subterraneum - yaninnicum

Hard seed level

Late

Meteora
Napier
Larissa

Moderate

Mid

Gosse
Riverina

Moderate

Early to mid

Trikkala

Low