- Grass-only pastures mine nitrogen from the soil and over time, will lose productivity. Soil and animal health suffers as a result. A key aspect contributing to the reduction of pasture productivity in heavy clay soils is the reduced available of nitrogen and nutrients to feed Buffel or other improved pasture grasses.
- Pasture legumes such as Progardes fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and cycle nutrients through leaf and pod senescence.
- Persistent legumes like Progardes have been proven to maintain pasture productivity and result in 200% more dry matter production compared to non-legume grass pastures. This not only ensures greater productivity but also a reduced need for mechanical renovation. Given mechanical renovation treatment ranges from $120-190/ha and may be required on a 5-10 year cycle to maintain 75% productivity, Progardes, being capable of extending the inter-mechanical period, could save $12-38/ha per annum in direct costs.
Why is Progardes so successful in extreme conditions?
- Progardes is persistent because the main growing crown is below ground level and is therefore able to spring back when the foliage is damaged through grazing or other stresses.
- Progardes foliage is herbaceous and extremely palatable, while the base of the plant is woody, resilient and robust.
- Progardes is tap-rooted and able to access moisture beyond the reach of the root systems of pasture grasses.
Why is Progardes the best legume for clay soils?
- Progardes is non-toxic and does not contain mimosine. No rumen inoculant is required for cattle to tolerate Progardes.
- Progardes does not require height management.
- Progardes grows in lower rainfall areas than other forage legumes and is more tolerant to frost and heavy grazing.
- Progardes has the highest germination rate and highest percentage of pure live seed of any commercial pasture legume in Australia.
What rainfall range is Progardes adapted to?
- Progardes is well adapted to annual rainfall of 400-1000mm per year, making it suitable for the majority of Australia’s beef-producing country.
What grasses is it compatible with?
- Progardes is compatible with native pastures such as Mitchell, Flinders and Blue grasses as well as introduced pasture species such as Buffel.
Is it palatable?
- Progardes is palatable with no toxic or negative nutritive aspects. Producers report their cattle preferentially grazing Progardes.
What soil pH levels suit Progardes?
- Progardes is well adapted to the variable pH levels (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline) of clay-rich soils.
How is Progardes best established?
- Progardes has been established using a range of methods, including aerial seeding, precision planting, or broadcast with a light harrow. Some producers have also had success with faecal seeding (feeding Progardes seed to cattle through a molasses supplement or similar and subsequent germination occurs in the dung).
- Agrimix will work with you as an individual to tailor an establishment package covering seed bed preparation and seeding rates best suited to your country and enterprise.
- Agrimix works with our producers on an ongoing basis, trialing and refining paddock preparation and seeding methods on a range of soils and country to ensure establishment success across all of the northern beef-producing regions.
- For general advice regarding establishment, refer to the Progardes Establishment Guide.
- To read about how some of our producer partners have prepared and sown their paddocks with Progardes, you can read producer case studies here.
How does Progardes extend pasture productivity?
- In many beef-producing areas, cattle lose condition leading into the dry season as the quality and availability of grass pastures declines. Progardes increases the pasture production period by providing high-quality forage later into the dry season. Cattle grazing Progardes are in better condition to due to the high protein and energy levels it provides, allowing them to gain weight faster. Being a legume, Progardes also fixes nitrogen in the soil, conferring a benefit to the surrounding grass pastures and allowing them to stay healthier for longer when environmental conditions deteriorate.