Introduction to Leucaena 'Glenlivet'
Central Queensland graziers were presented with a comprehensive overview of all things leucaena at the recent Leucaena Open Day hosted by Scott and Judy Smith of Glenlivet, Thangool.
The Open Day, organised by The Leucaena Network provided attendees with the opportunity to hear of Glenlivet’s pasture regeneration strategies, using leucaena, that were introduced soon after the purchase of the property. The leucaena plantings on Glenlivet have had some challenges with Scott and Judy recalling how, whilst their first plantings, more than 20 years ago at 6 metres apart, provided the necessary leucaena and pasture mix required for optimal cattle weight gain, experienced some issues.
“Our first attempt at planting leucaena, whilst successful, was a bit of trial and error,” reported Scott.
“There were some issues with seed bed preparation and control of grass between the leucaena rows initially. However we learnt from this and have been able to tailor our pasture improvements to recognise the various soils and landscapes on the property so that we now have plantings of more than 230 hectares.”
The leucaena inter-rows are planted with a mix of improved grasses mainly buffel.
The pasture improvements on Glenlivet have been augmented with rotational grazing strategies to foster optimal and sustainable plant growth and improved carrying capacity. Judy Smith was able to demonstrate to the attendees how ongoing pasture assessments, paddock rotations and close management of Glenlivet’s stocking rates have been pivotal in the family’s grazing business.
“Our focus is always on our pasture, feed availability and ability for our grass to recover and rejuvenate in readiness for the next graze,” she said.
“Stock on Glenlivet rotate through 60 paddocks, of which 22 are improved with leucaena. We also have 860 hectares of forest country which assists us to manage our most productive land and, as we operate as a trading enterprise, we are able, within reason, to manage our stocking rates to match our carrying capacity.”
As a contractor, providing planting services to the leucaena industry, Scott was able to show the Open Day attendees the machinery involved in leucaena establishment and management, and provide advice regarding machinery options and planting costs.
“I would encourage anyone who has the necessary soil and climate conditions to consider leucaena as an addition to their grazing system,” Scott said.
“Whether they wish to undertake the establishment of it themselves or use a contractor, introducing leucaena into the grazing system, when well-managed, will dramatically improve the carrying capacity and the viability of a grazing enterprise.