Leona is a prairie grass for Australian producers who are looking for improved productivity, quality and persistence. Leona has been selected for increased seedling vigour resulting in faster establishment, reducing the time to first graze. The palatability and improved winter yields of Leona result in high quality feed at a very valuable time of year.
Pasture seed sowing rate (sole): 30-50kg/ha
Pasture seed sowing rate (mixed): 20kg/ha
Leona was developed in South America through selections from local and introduced lines with an emphasis on tillering, regrowth, winter production and persistence. Leona is early flowering which ensures that the free seeding ability is strong even when the season finishes early.
Prairie grass should be established in the autumn. It can be sown into a conventionally cultivated seed bed or by direct drilling, it is important to ensure you have good seed to soil contact for an even germination and establishment.
Planting depth of pasture seed will vary dependant on companion species that are being sown with Leona, seed should be sown no deeper than 10mm to ensure even germination. Seed from previous year which has matured will generally germinate on the soil surface very successfully. Establishment fertiliser with nitrogen and phosphorus should be applied at sowing (DAP/MAP).
Sowing rates can range from 7-10 kg/ha when sown with other perennial grasses and legumes, but consideration needs to be made around grazing management as this can be difficult when prairie grass is sown with perennial ryegrass and tall fescue.
When prairie grass is sown with legumes and or herbs, sowing rates should be 25-35 kg/ha of Leona prairie grass plus legumes and or herbs. It performs best in high fertility, well drained soils with a pH(CaCl2) of 5.5 and above.
Leona will not perform well in waterlogged soils, ensure that the soil types are relatively free draining. Leona responds well to nitrogen applications to increase dry matter production, especially at key times such as autumn and winter.
For pasture seed sowing rates specific to your farming needs, contact your local DLF Seeds Sales Agronomist here
Leona is best suited to intensive rotational grazing systems, leading to increased regrowth and persistence. First grazing can occur when plants have developed strong roots and can withstand the "pull test" usually at the 3-4 leaf stage when tillers are starting to develop.
Do not graze when the soil is waterlogged as this can potentially lead to pugging, damage plants and reduce production and persistence of Leona. Best regrowth and persistence will be maintained through strict rotational grazing management.
To avoid over grazing, leave between 6-10 cm residuals, and will avoid over grazing of any companion legumes. Graze at intervals of 21-28 days from October onwards to allow for adequate seed-set leading to re-establishment of the Leona the following autumn.
Minimum 650mm rainfall per annum unless irrigated