Stamina® GT6 combines useful winter growth, great persistence and the ability to tolerate set stocking of sheep, however, set stocking is not recommended for all stock classes (finishing). It provides excellent yield and quality during warmer growing months.
Stamina GT6 was the first lucerne released for Australian farmers trialled under the internationally recognised Standard Test Protocol for grazing tolerant lucernes.
Sowing rate (sole): 5-25kg/ha
Developing grazing tolerant lucernes for Australia’s dryland farms has taken nearly two decades and was a a joint venture project between DLF Seeds (joint ventiure undertaken when DLF Seeds was operating as PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia) and CalWest Seeds in the USA. The products were initially developed in the US after a 6 year screening programme in which elite breeding lines and successful commercial varieties were set stocked by both sheep and beef cattle for a period of 6-7 months per year. Paddocks were maintained at a constant vegetative height of 2-5cm throughout the grazing periods.
Further screening was conducted in Australia by DLF Seeds who evaluated 24 advanced lines in trials that ran for 7 years. Plots were grazed for periods of 10 months at a stocking rate of 40 sheep/ha.
Lucerne varieties bearing the Stamina® designation were selected as ‘best of the best’ in these ultra-rigorous evaluations. Australian farmers are encouraged to ask other seed companies that claim their lucerne varieties are grazing tolerant were they developed. Farmers are advised to plant the best, proven grazing tolerant (GT) varieties from DLF Seeds.
In the development and evaluation of Stamina GT6 it underwent a very tough protocol to establish grazing tolerance. While Stamina GT6 will survive better than most other lucernes if treated in less than ideal management for lucerne persistence, it is not recommended to treat it any differently to managing other lucerne stands.
Stamina GT6 like all other lucerne is small seeded, so therefore it is important to ensure that the sowing of Stamina GT6 pasture seed is done correctly to ensure the best results for establishment. There are some key fundamentals to get right when sowing lucerne including seedbed preparation, weed control, sowing depth and sowing technique. Following these key steps will help achieve a good establishment of lucerne.
Preparing the seedbed takes into consideration the soil type and cultivation of the soil to ensure the soil is fine. This will aid the seed to soil contact at the time of sowing as well as supporting good moisture infiltration around the seed either after a rainfall event or irrigation.
Poor weed control is one of the most common issues that can lead to poor lucerne establishment. Weed control must start the year prior to sowing the lucerne to ensure adequate time and opportunity to control any weeds that are present in the paddock. This should also reduce the need for post emergent herbicides to be used in the young lucerne crop as this can retard growth.
Pasture seed sowing Depth
The sowing depth needs to be managed as lucerne is a small seed and therefore only needs to be sown at no more the 15mm deep. This will enable the lucerne to germinate and the seedlings to rise above the soil to begin photosynthesis.
The sowing technique is the method of actually getting the seed into the soil. With so many different options for sowing equipment, it is important to understand the impact this can have when sowing lucerne. Accuracy of sowing rate, equipment condition (shears, knife points or discs) and final compaction (press wheels, harrows or tyre roller) are all important when looking to successfully establish lucerne.
Sowing Rate depending on rainfall/irrigation (Superstrike treated seed)
For pasture seed sowing rates specific to your farming needs, contact your local DLF Seeds Sales Agronomist here
Stamina GT6 should be grazed in a rotational grazing system. It is recommended that the rotation period is between 30 – 35 days following grazing during the growing period (rotation lengths may need to be extended during the cooler months due to slower growth).
When grazing lucerne it is ideal to graze the plant down to 5cm in height and then have the stock taken out. This typical management will ensure a strong lucerne stand for many years which will make Stamina GT6 a very sound investment.
Minimum 350mm rainfall per annum unless irrigated