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Type: Journal article
Title: Persistence of diverse lucerne (Medicago sativa sspp.) germplasm under farmer management across a range of soil types in southern Australia
Author: Humphries, Alan Wayne
Zhang, X. G.
McDonald, K. S.
Latta, Roy A.
Auricht, G. C.
Citation: Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 2008; 59(2):139-148
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 0004-9409
School/Discipline: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Abstract: The persistence of a diverse group of lucerne (Medicago sativa sspp.) germplasm was evaluated under farmer management across a range of acidic and neutral-alkaline soils at 8 sites in South and Western Australia. Dryland field trials were sown in parallel with commercial lucerne paddocks being grown in rotation with cereal crops, remaining unfenced and under management by the farmer for the life of the stand. The combined differences in soil type, grazing management, and low rainfall contributed to large differences in average lucerne persistence between sites in South Australia and Western Australia. After 3 years, plant frequency (a measure of plant density used to monitor persistence) averaged 17% (at least 17 plants/m2) on the strongly acidic soils in Western Australia and 30% on the neutral-alkaline soils in South Australia (at least 30 plants/m2). Differences in persistence were attributed to the combined stresses of soil pH, drought conditions, and grazing management. Genetic correlation analyses between sites failed to show any clear patterns in the performance of entries at each site, except for a high correlation between 2 South Australian sites in close proximity. Highly winter-active germplasm was less persistent than other winter activity groups, but was higher yielding when assessed in an additional trial at Katanning, WA. Highly winter-active lucerne (class 9–10) should continue to be recommended for short (2–4 year) phases in rotation with cereals, and winter-active groups (6–8) should be recommend for longer (4–7 year) phases in rotations. The results of this evaluation are also being used to identify broadly adapted, elite genotypes in the breeding of new lucerne cultivars for the southern Australian cropping districts.
Description: © CSIRO 2008
DOI: 10.1071/AR07037
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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