The new perennial forage tedera, which is showing great potential for sheep feed is about to be put to the test on ‘gutless’ pale sand.
Tedera a drought tolerant legume, has shown an excellent ability to produce feed over summer on good yellow sand at the Liebe Groups’ Buntine site. However, growers now want to see it tested on the poorer quality land which is unsuitable for cropping.
Watheroo farmer Phil Martin who is hosting the trial explains “I see a fit for tedera on the deep sand which is non wetting and too infertile for cropping”.
Lead researcher Dr Daniel Real of DAFWA reports. “In the middle of summer tedera is the only green plant in the paddock and it has performed well even in very dry seasons”.
Dr Real is part of the Future farm industries CRC that sourced tedera from the Canary Islands, Spain where the plant persists with almost no rain for up to 5 months and annual rainfall of 150mm to 300mm.
Tedera is not yet commercially available as breeding work is still being undertaken. However a commercial partner has been found and an extensive trial program is being undertaken so livestock producers could be enjoying a solution to the autumn feed gap in a few years’ time.
The ability of tedera to increase soil carbon in a traditionally low carbon soil will also be investigated over the next two years.
The Liebe Groups involvement in this project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as part of its Carbon Farming Futures – Action on the Ground program.