Mount Surprise beef producers have successfully utilised leucaena in their grazing rotations after planting the scrub in uncleared basalt country.
Tom and Christine Saunders of Whitewater Station took part in a leucaena pasture trial that saw their cattle gain upwards of 0.8 kilograms a day.
In collaboration with the Leucaena Network, the producers hosted a field day on March 15 to showcase the opportunity to plant leucaena in timbered country amongst ironbark, gum and bloodwood trees.
Over 30 local graziers and industry representatives attended to gain an overview of the successes and challenges of the trial.
Mr Saunders noted Whitewater's rich, volcanic red soil as high in phosphorus, which lent itself to leucaena pasture improvement.
The natural terrain of the basalt country including extensive rocks, boulders and trees proved challenging.
"The planting went well, if a bit rough with the large basalt rocks, however a lack of predicted rain immediately after planting, resulted in a 75 per cent establishment," Mr Saunders said.
"That 75pc establishment has continued to thrive and is now a vital and productive part of Whitewater's grazing system."
The Leucaena Network executive officer Bron Christensen said the Whitewater trial had been a success.
"The Saunders jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the trial," she said.
"A lot of properties are constrained by vegetation laws, but Tom and Christine planted successfully in accordance with all current guidelines."
The forage scrub is best suited to tropical climates, but can tolerate extended dry spells and drought conditions.
Ms Christensen said leucaena performs well in deep and fertile soils in sub-humid environments.
"Whitewater's rich and volcanic soil most certainly lent itself to the success," she said.
"Not much leucaena is planted in North Queensland coastal areas because of psyllid infestations, which hinders growth.
"On average leucaena has a 30-year life span and can be planted for drought tolerance."
The planting trial was undertaken in accordance with current leucaena codes of practice.
The Leucaena Network notes producers must avoid planting near watercourses such as creeks, rivers and flood ways.
The plant must be kept away from boundary fences and a buffer of strong, grass pasture is provided.
Annually, cattle grazed on the legume average a liveweight gain between 250 to 300kgs a head.
Attendees concluded the field day with paddock planting inspections and viewed sale ready cattle recently turned off leucaena and Whitewater's water medication system.
For more trial information contact The Leucaena Network.
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