Blackbull Station Establishment Trial
Blackbull Station undertook the demonstration site planting on 12-13 January 2020 with an 80% germination and 70% establishment. A review on 29 January 2020, indicated that Wondergraze had the highest emergence at 14 ppm with Cunningham and Redlands emerging at around 12 ppm.
A review of the plantings at six months showed that plant height, population and growth stage of the leucaena varied greatly over the area established . All three varieties had some leaf drop and small plants < 0.2 m high appeared stressed due to no significant rainfall since March 2020.
Cunningham Leucaena (6 metre row spacings)
Plants per metre. < 1 to 12 -- average 5
Plant height 0.25 to 2.5 m -- average 0.75 to 1 m.
Many of the plants above 0.5 m high had seed pods and / or flowering.
Redlands Leucaena (12 metre row spacings)
Plants per metre. < 1 to 11 - average 4.5
Plant height 0.25 to 1.5 m - average 0.5 to 0.75 m.
Many of the plants above 0.5 m high had seed pods or flowering but not as many as the Cunningham variety.
Wondergraze Leucaena (18 metre row spacings)
Plants per metre. < 1 to 15 -- average 4.5
Plant height 0.25 to 1.2 m -- average 0.4 to 0.6 m.
Some of the plants above ½ metre high have seed pods or are flowering but not as many as the Cunningham and Redland varieties.
A review of the plantings at ten months in November 2020 showed that whilst plant height still varied greatly over the establishment area, overall establishment was successful with the plantings suitable for a light first graze. It is anticipated that with the onset of the wet season, growth will now occur at a greater rate than through the drier months and full grazing is anticipated to occur in mid 2021.
Blackbull Station Field Day
4 November 2020
Manager Logan Reid and team of Blackbull Station hosted a very informative and entertaining NT Leucaena Establishment Producer Demonstration Site workshop and field day on Wednesday 4 November 2020. More than 40 people were in attendance with a range of graziers, agronomists, extension, banking, local agricultural organisations and service providers in attendance. Attendees gathered in the shed at Blackbull to escape the heat and hear from Logan about Blackbull's leucaena successes and challenges; Bruce Mayne of Mayne Seeds about alternative ways of leucaena establishment; Bron Christensen of The Leucaena Network on the basics of leucaena; and Peter Shotton of DPIR's Douglas Daly Research Station on leucaena establishment in the NT and live weight gain trials undertaken on the DDRF. The workshop component was rounded out with a very educational and entertaining presentation from Chelsea Jarvis and Emily Hinds of the Northern Australian Climate Program - what can we say, there was interpretative dance and the Southern Oscillation Index will never be regarded the same way again!
A paddock visit to earlier established leucaena and the trial plantings of Redlands, Cunningham and Wondergraze at different row spacings enabled the attendees to see and hear first hand of Blackbull's planting and establishment experiences.
The afternoon culminated in a barbecue and a few drinks, providing all with the opportunity to follow up on any questions from the day and enjoy some down time. Thanks to all who attended, all who presented and especially to Logan and Jenna and team at Blackbull Station for hosting us.