- 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® Desmanthus fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and cycle nutrients through leaf and pod senescence.
- Persistent legumes like Progardes® Desmanthus 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® Desmanthus, being capable of extending the inter-mechanical period, could save $12-38/ha per annum in direct costs.
Why is Progardes® Desmanthus so successful in extreme conditions?
- Progardes® Desmanthus 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® Desmanthus foliage is herbaceous and extremely palatable, while the base of the plant is woody, resilient and robust.
- Progardes® Desmanthus is tap-rooted and able to access moisture beyond the reach of the root systems of pasture grasses.
Why is Progardes® Desmanthus the best legume for clay soils?
- Progardes® Desmanthus is non-toxic and does not contain mimosine. No rumen inoculant is required for cattle to tolerate Progardes® Desmanthus.
- Progardes® Desmanthus does not require height management.
- Progardes® Desmanthus grows in low rainfall areas and is tolerant to frost and heave grazing.
- Progardes® Desmanthus has a high percentage of pure live seed.
What rainfall range is Progardes® Desmanthus adapted to?
- Progardes® Desmanthus 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® Desmanthus 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® Desmanthus is palatable with no toxic or negative nutritive aspects. Producers report their cattle preferentially grazing Progardes.
What soil pH levels suit Progardes® Desmanthus?
- Progardes® Desmanthus is well adapted to the variable pH levels (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline) of clay-rich soils.
How is Progardes® Desmanthus best established?
- Progardes® Desmanthus 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® Desmanthus seed to cattle through a molasses supplement or similar and subsequent germination occurs in the dung).
- Agrimix Pastures 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 Pastures 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® Desmanthus Establishment Guide.
- To read about how some of our producer partners have prepared and sown their paddocks with Progardes® Desmanthus, 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® Desmanthus increases the pasture production period by providing high-quality forage later into the dry season. Cattle grazing Progardes® Desmanthus 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® Desmanthus 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.