Overcoming the Knowledge Gaps

Overcoming the Knowledge Gaps – Increasing the adoption of deep-rooted legumes in Northern Australian Grazing Systems

Project Funder: Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Future Drought Fund

Project Lead Organisation/Researcher: University of New England, Southern QLD Northern NSW Innovation Hub

Project Durations: 2023-2024

Project Locations: Lake Cargelligo


The aim of the replicated small-plot trial is to test the establishment of tropical deep-rooted legumes and pasture varieties sown in a temperate sowing window.

This project focuses on drought resilience for grazing systems across Northern Australia. Led by Associate Professor David McNeill from UNE, the wider project will see over 5000 hectares of contrasting legumes sown across twelve participating properties in Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Through this, the project team will identify and address the common constraints that producers face when trying to implement legumes into their grazing systems.


Description and background

The treatment comprises twelve species combinations based on three types of grass (Premier Digit, Katambora Rhodes and Bambatsi panic) and two legume mixes (Winter and Spring). The winter legume mix is comprised of Biserrula and Serradella, whilst the spring legume mix is made up of Burgundy Bean and Lucerne. The trial plots are split into low and high fertiliser treatments.


Table 1. Species List – Lake Cargelligo Tropical Pastures site

Premier Digit
Katambora Rhodes
Bambatsi Panic
Winter Legumes – Biserrula and Serradella
Spring Legumes – Burgundy Bean and Lucerne


Table 2. List of treatments – Lake Cargelligo Tropical Pastures site

Species Combinations

  1. Digit
  2. Rhodes
  3. Bambatsi
  4. Winter Legumes
  5. Spring Legumes
  6. Digit + Winter
  7. Digit + Spring
  8. Rhodes + Winter
  9. Rhodes + Spring
  10. Bambatsi + Winter
  11. Bambatsi + Spring
  12. Complex (all grasses and legumes)


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