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Farmers stand in a pasture variety trial in Esperance Western Australia at an ASHEEP & BEEF field day.


MLA Producer Demonstration Site

Updated 20/03/24

In 2019, ASHEEP & BEEF pitched a Pasture Variety Trials project to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) via their producer demonstration site program. The project was accepted and is now underway, running over a five year period, comparing different varieties of pasture (annuals and perennials) across a range of soil types.


In the first two years of the project (2020 & 2021) we ran plot scale trials at six sites with around 15 varieties at each. In 2022 - 2024 we then monitor commercial scale demonstration sites by following farmers who are using the varieties demonstrated in the plot trials.


Results are available for the 2020 & 2021 plot-scale trials, with reporting delivered by South East Agronomy Research who managed the sites.


South Coastal Agencies then took on oversight of the commercial-scale demonstration sites in 2022, and their analysis of the 12 demonstration sites monitored that year is available below in the Year 3 Annual Report.

In 2023, seven demonstration sites were established and are being monitored. In Cascade (Medium Rainfall Zone) one of the sites includes a comparison of straight vetch, vetch / brassica mix, and vetch / oats mix. This is of particular interest to the project team as vetch is becoming well established as a high-performing benchmark pasture for the region. The review of these sites is available in the Year 4 Annual Report.

In 2024, the final year of the project, six sites across different rainfall zones and soil tuples will be followed. 

By identifying the most suitable varieties for the environment we aim to enable producers to identify opportunities to increase productivity.

Farmers stand in a pasture variety trial in Esperance at an ASHEEP & BEEF field day for sheep and cattle producers.

Site visit at Grass Patch, 19th August 2020.

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Sites have been selected to cover a range of soil types and rainfall zones, as well as having good access to visit for field days. Project updates will be posted periodically via the blog updates below.

ASHEEP & BEEF acknowledges the work of South East Agronomy Research who managed the plot trials in 2020 & 2021, and South Coastal Agencies who are collecting and managing results from the commercial scale sites from 2022 onwards. We also thank Theo Oorschot (Esperance Rural Supplies) for supporting the project with pasture agronomy expertise as a member of the project steering committee.

Contact ASHEEP & BEEF if you would like more information on this project. ASHEEP & BEEF members will be provided with regular updates, visit our membership page if you would like to consider joining. The sites will also be showcased at field days.

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