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Raeside M.C.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Raeside M.C.,Co operative Research Center for Future Farming Industries | Raeside M.C.,Charles Sturt University | Friend M.A.,Co operative Research Center for Future Farming Industries | And 6 more authors.
Grass and Forage Science | Year: 2012

Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is currently seldom used in the high-rainfall (>600mm) zone of south-eastern Australia. To determine its potential to improve forage availability during the summer-autumn feed-deficit period, a field plot-scale experiment with sheep evaluated a Continental cultivar of tall fescue (cv. Quantum) at Hamilton, Victoria, between September 2006 and January 2009. Four grazing treatments represented set stocking or rotational grazing at the two-, three- or four-leaf stage, in a completely randomized design with three replications. Grazing treatment effects on tall fescue tiller population dynamics, forage accumulation rates and consumption, sward nutritive value and botanical composition were measured. Results showed tall fescue can persist and support year-round grazing by sheep, subject to water availability for summer growth from summer rain or on moisture retentive heavy soils. During the summer-autumn (December-April) vegetative phase, grazing at the three-leaf stage optimized forage consumption, with no difference in feed value or botanical composition between the grazing treatments during these months. During the reproductive phase (September-November), feed value was highest under set stocking and declined with the production of each successive leaf. Grazing at the three- or four-leaf stage prevented winter weed invasion, but winter forage consumption was low in these treatments. Set stocking or grazing at the two-leaf stage improved winter forage consumption rates, but these swards were invaded by winter growing weeds. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source


Raeside M.C.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Raeside M.C.,Co operative Research Center for Future Farming Industries | Raeside M.C.,Graham Center for Agricultural Innovation | Friend M.A.,Co operative Research Center for Future Farming Industries | And 6 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2012

Tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum syn. Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is rarelyused in the south west Victoria region of Australia, and little information is available on its suitability and management in this environment. Summer-active varieties of tall fescue could potentially benefit livestock production in south west Victoria byimproving summer feed availability. A survey was conducted to collect information on summer-active tall fescue use and management in south west Victoria. The surveyidentified several issues that restrict the use of summer-active tall fescue in the studyarea, most notablyuncertaintyabout spring nutritive value, lack of information about new cultivars and slow establishment. Following the survey, a field experiment was conducted to studythe establishment of summer-active tall fescue in south west Victoria under different levels of sowing rate and sowing depth. Seedling densities higher than 250 seedlings/m2 were achieved, with sowing depths of 10-20mm being optimal. © 2012 The Royal Society of New Zealand. Source


Raeside M.C.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Raeside M.C.,Co operative Research Center for Future Farming Industries | Raeside M.C.,Charles Sturt University | Friend M.A.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | And 6 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2012

Throughout many areas of Australia, climatic conditions create a unique challenge for pasture producers due to the combined effects of heat and moisture deficit stress over summer/early autumn, and cold-temperature stress with transient waterlogging over winter and early spring. To survive and remain productive in this environment, pasture species must possess a wide range of adaptive traits, with few species being suited to both drought stress and waterlogging stress. Tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum syn. Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is a perennial pasture grass that is not widely used in Australia, where perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and phalaris (Phalaris aquatica L.) are the predominant improved pasture species. Summeractive cultivars of tall fescue may, however, possess adaptive traits (traits not possessed by other pasture grasses) that are useful in Australia. Summer-active tall fescue is generally more heat tolerant and deeper rooted than perennial ryegrass, with comparable nutritive value over much of the year and the benefit of improved summer productivity. To sustain a high level of summer growth and persistence, it is likely that summer-active cultivars of tall fescue will be specifically suited to rainfall zones receiving >600 mm/year, with some summer rainfall. In areas where summer rainfall is unreliable, summer-active tall fescue may be suited to heavy textured waterlogging-prone soils that provide a source of stored soil moisture available for extraction over summer. This review documents the potential usefulness of summer-active tall fescue as a forage species in the high-rainfall zone (>600 mm) of Australia, particularly areas that experience the combined stresses of hot and dry summer conditions with cold conditions and transient waterlogging during winter. This literature review considers research fromaround the world, with particular reference to New Zealand studies, which are highly relevant to the Australian environment. The response of tall fescue to a range of establishment, grazing and fertiliser management regimes is discussed, relevant to prevailing environmental conditions and other comparable forage species. © 2012 The Royal Society of New Zealand. Source

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