Crop and Pasture Science

Publisher: Commonwealtlh Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (Australia); Australian Academy of Science, CSIRO Publishing


Crop & Pasture Science (continuing Australian Journal of Agricultural Research) is an international scientific journal publishing significant outcomes of research into product quality and sustainability of crop and pasture systems. The journa´s primary focus is broad-scale cereals, grain legumes, oil seeds, tree crops, and pastures. Papers are encouraged that advance understanding in plant-based agricultural systems through the use of well-defined and original aims, innovative and rigorous experimental design, and strong interpretation. The journal embraces experimental approaches from molecular to whole systems level. The target readership of Crop & Pasture Science is agricultural scientists and plant biologists, industry, administrators, policy-makers, and others with an interest in the challenges and opportunities facing agricultural production. To facilitate accessibility and clarity, papers should address a hypothesis, and the Abstract should define the novel outcomes.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Crop & Pasture Science website
  • Other titles
    Crop & pasture science (Online), Crop and pasture science, Crop and pasture science
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Government publication, National government publication, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

CSIRO Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • On author's personal repository or institutional repository
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Growing populations and intensification of land-use in West Asia and North Africa (WANA) are prompting a need for viable alternatives to fallow and cereal mono-cropping systems common in dry areas of this region. The sustainability and economic viability of such rotations can only be assessed accurately using long-term trials. Thus, a two course rotation experiment was established in 1986 in northeastern Syria, comparing yields and profitability of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown after wheat, fallow, a grazed mixture of medic species (Medicago spp.) and common vetch (Vicia sativa L.) cut for hay] over ten growing seasons. Lentil (Lens culinaris) was introduced into the experiment in 1990. On average over the course of the experiment, the highest wheat grain yields were following fallow (2.57 t ha-1), lowest in continuous wheat (1.14 t ha-1), and intermediate for wheat following medic and vetch (1.90-2.01 t ha-1). Compared with wheat grown after fallow, wheat grain yields declined following vetch, medic and lentil in only three of the ten seasons which were drier than average. Yields of wheat after lentil were generally lower (2.22 t ha-1) than after vetch (mean 2.56 t ha-1), and after medic (2.40 t ha-1). The inclusion of grain legumes in the rotations boosted profits considerably because of their high grain prices and valuable straw. Replacing fallow with vetch for hay production increased the average gross margin by $126 USD ha-1 yr-1, while growing vetch for hay in rotation with wheat produced $254 USD ha-1 yr-1 greater profit than continuous wheat. The wheat-vetch for grain and wheat-lentil rotations were especially profitable, at least twice that of wheat-fallow and three times that of continuous wheat. This experiment adds to the growing body of field data in Syria and in Australia that show that forage and grain legumes are excellent alternatives to the wheat-fallow rotation and continuous wheat production in areas that experience a Mediterranean–type environment, and help support more efficient and sustainable cropping systems
    Crop and Pasture Science 11/2014;
  • Crop and Pasture Science 10/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pastures continue to provide essential functions for the mixed-farming zone in south-eastern Australia, where crop and livestock production are integral parts of most farms. Establishment of pastures in this zone needs to be low-cost and preferably with minimal risk. Pastures are typically sown either directly or in combination with a cover-crop (also called undersowing; the practice of sowing pasture seed simultaneously with a crop that is intended for grain production in the first year), so that the establishment cost is offset by income from the sale of grain. The purposes of this review are to: (i) draw together the literature on undersowing pastures, including studies conducted since the previous review in 1965; (ii) understand why there is a discrepancy between research results that generally do not support the practice of undersowing pastures, whereas farmer preference appears to establish pastures under a cover-crop; and (iii) identify critical needs for further research to aid in making decisions about pasture establishment on-farm. Published and unpublished data from the Australian wheatbelt on establishing pastures by undersowing was examined from the 1920s to the present and included seven publications for perennial species from 26 different experiments. Eight publications addressing establishment of annual species were available from 30 experiments. Many trials appear to have been conducted without being analysed or published. A further 16 international publications were reviewed. Generally, cover-crops reduced annual pasture seedset and perennial density even though the pastures established under the cover-cropping were commonly deemed ‘satisfactory’ by the authors. Pasture establishment was improved by reducing the sowing rate of the cover-crop and/or sowing on alternate rows. Technological change during the past 25 years has led to different configurations of seeding machinery, increased use of herbicides and longer cropping phases. Conclusions previously reached may therefore need to be re-assessed. No data published quantified the risks associated with undersowing on a seasonal and regional basis to determine the probability of success, and there are insufficient data to model the complex physiological interactions between crop and pasture, with most experiments focused on basic agronomic parameters. Furthermore, long-term effects of establishment method on total pasture biomass production and subsequent effects on following crops have rarely been demonstrated, because of the short time-frames in which most experiments have been conducted. Farmers in the mixed-farming zone still prefer to establish pastures under a cover-crop because of perceived financial benefit of the practice. This review identifies substantial research gaps to be addressed to improve pasture-establishment decisions.
    Crop and Pasture Science 10/2014; 65(10):956-972.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Incorporation of perennial pastures into cropping rotations can improve whole-farm productivity, profitability and sustainability of mixed farming systems in southern Australia. However, success in establishing perennial pastures depends on choice of species, time of sowing, method of establishment, seasonal conditions, and whether sowing is under a cover-crop. Field experiments were sown from 2008 to 2010 to determine effects of sowing time and the presence of a cover-crop on the performance of four perennial pasture species, lucerne (Medicago sativa L.), chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), phalaris (Phalaris aquatica L.) and cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.), at Yerong Creek, New South Wales (NSW). Results showed that lucerne was the most productive pasture, followed by chicory and phalaris, with cocksfoot being the poorest performer. Under favourable seasonal conditions, lucerne and chicory pastures produced 29.3 and 25.0 t ha–1 of total dry matter (DM), comprising 71% and 52%, respectively, of sown perennial species in the sward in their second growing season, when sown in autumn. Spring-sown pastures produced 24.6 and 18.3 t ha–1 of total DM in the second season, with 55% and 47% of sown species in the sward being lucerne and chicory, respectively. However, spring-sown pastures contained a very low proportion of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) in the sward in the first 2 years, despite efforts to broadcast seeds at the break of season in the following year. It is recommended that non-legume perennial species, such as chicory and phalaris, be sown in autumn with companion annual legumes until methods are developed and tested to establish annual legumes reliably in spring. However, lucerne can be established in autumn or spring because it can fix its own nitrogen and is not reliant on a companion legume. Cocksfoot cv. Kasbah, in general, appears less suitable than the other perennial species for this medium-rainfall environment in southern NSW. Our study showed that pastures sown without a cover-crop had the most reliable establishment, whereas pastures sown with a cover-crop in a dry year had poor establishment or total failure, as well as a significant reduction of grain yield from the cover-crop. In a wet year, pastures established satisfactorily under a cover-crop; however, growth of the cover-crop still suppressed pasture DM production in subsequent years. Research is under way to model our data to determine the likely financial implications of establishing perennial pastures under cover-crops
    Crop and Pasture Science 10/2014; 65(10):988-1001.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The need for continual improvement in water productivity of rice farming has led to the development of delayed permanent (continuous) water (DPW) irrigation practice for drill-sown rice in south-eastern Australia. Current rice-growing practices have the crop flooded for most, or all, of its growing period, whereas DPW has reduced the period of flooding during the vegetative phase, resulting in significant water savings. The changed water-management practice required nitrogen (N) management practices to be investigated, because traditional N application timings and rates may no longer be suitable. Six experiments were conducted over three rice-growing seasons, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13, on two soil types in south-eastern Australia. Nitrogen applications at sowing, early tillering, mid-tillering and pre-PW were investigated at different rates and split-timing combinations. In the third season, three current commercial semi-dwarf rice varieties, Reiziq, Sherpa and Langi, were investigated for their growth and grain yield using different N treatments under DPW management. Nitrogen applied with the seed at sowing increased vegetative plant growth but did not increase grain yield, whereas N applied at early tillering had no significant impact on plant growth or grain yield. Nitrogen applied at mid-tillering often increased plant growth but did not lead to increased grain yield over treatments that received all N before PW application at 18–22 days before panicle initiation. When rice is managed under DPW, all N should be applied in one application, before the application of PW. The results from this research show that applying 100 kg N ha–1 before PW for rice grown under DPW was the best N-management option for the experimental fields. All three varieties grew and yielded well under the practice of DPW and responded similarly to N application rates and timings.
    Crop and Pasture Science 08/2014; 65(9):878-887.
  • Crop and Pasture Science 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study assessed the flooding tolerance of tropical grasses Chloris gayana and Panicum coloratum, at different moments of the year: (i) late winter flooding for 50 days (WF), (ii) early spring flooding (SF) for 20 days, and (iii) long-term flooding covering both periods (WF+SF, 70 days). A growth-period under well watered conditions was allowed after each flooding event to assess plant species recovery. Plants were harvested after each flooding event, and at the end of the recovery period. P. coloratum had higher tolerance to WF than C. gayana. WF did not affect biomass in P. coloratum while it reduced biomass of flooded plants by 38% in C. gayana. SF did not differentiate species’ tolerance as both registered similar and moderate reduction in their growth (20 to 30%). Under long-term flooding (WF+SF), C. gayana showed additional reduction in its growth to that observed when subjected separately to either WF or SF, while P. coloratum did not. Remarkably, both species displayed outstandingly fast recovery from flooding when temperatures rose during early summer, attaining equivalent biomass to that of non-flooded plants in only one month after water subsided. So, although P. coloratum appears as slightly more tolerant during flooding than C. gayana, both species look promising to be introduced in temperate lowland grasslands.
    Crop and Pasture Science 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: White clover (Trifolium repens L.) is a widely used and highly valued temperate legume; however, its productivity and survival are restricted under dryland and drought conditions. This study investigated whether drought resistance of white clover could be improved by interspecific hybridisation with Trifolium uniflorum L. After almost four months without irrigation in a rain-shelter facility, shoot dry weight (DW) decreased significantly less in first-generation backcross (BC1) hybrids (-47%) than second-generation backcross (BC2) hybrids (-68%) and white clover (-69%). Stolon morphological parameters such as internode length and leaf lamina area also decreased less under water stress in the BC1 hybrids than in BC2 and white clover. There was also lower senescence in BC1 under water stress than in the other clover types. Genotypes with smaller changes in leaf lamina area, internode length, senescence and lateral spread had smaller changes in shoot DW, and there were significant correlations between constitutive levels of some characteristics and the effect of water stress on shoot DW. Under water stress, the growth form of the BC1 hybrids was compact, dense and prostrate, whereas white clover was more spreading and open. Increased allocation of dry matter to roots under drought, and greater root diameter, may also have influenced the ability of BC1 hybrids to maintain water uptake and key physiological processes. Overall, the data confirm that the drought resistance of white clover can be improved through hybridisation with T. uniflorum.
    Crop and Pasture Science 07/2014; 65:911-921.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) is the most widely sown pasture legume in southern Australia and resistance to important diseases and pests has been a major plant-breeding objective. Kabatiella caulivora, the cause of clover scorch, is the most important foliar fungal pathogen, and several cultivars have been developed with resistance to both known races. Screening of advanced breeding lines has been conducted to prevent release of cultivars with high susceptibility to other important fungal foliar disease pathogens, including rust (Uromyces trifolii-repentis), powdery mildew (Oidium sp.), cercospora (Cercospora zebrina) and common leaf spot (Pseudopeziza trifolii). Several oomycete and fungal species cause root rots of subterranean clover, including Phytophthora clandestina, Pythium irregulare, Aphanomyces trifolii, Fusarium avenaceum and Rhizoctonia solani. Most breeding efforts have been devoted to resistance to P. clandestina, but the existence of different races has confounded selection. The most economically important virus diseases in subterranean clover pastures are Subterranean clover mottle virus and Bean yellow mosaic virus, while Subterranean clover stunt virus, Subterranean clover red leaf virus (local synonym for Soybean dwarf virus), Cucumber mosaic virus, Alfalfa mosaic virus, Clover yellow vein virus, Beet western yellows virus and Bean leaf roll virus also cause losses. Genotypic differences for resistance have been found to several of these fungal, oomycete and viral pathogens, highlighting the potential to develop cultivars with improved resistance. The most important pests of subterranean clover are redlegged earth mite (RLEM) (Halotydeus destructor), blue oat mite (Penthaleus major), blue-green aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi) and lucerne flea (Sminthurus viridis). New cultivars have been bred with increased RLEM cotyledon resistance, but limited selection has been conducted for resistance to other pests. Screening for disease and pest resistance has largely ceased, but recent molecular biology advances in subterranean clover provide a new platform for development of future cultivars with multiple resistances to important diseases and pests. However, this can only be realised if skills in pasture plant pathology, entomology, pre-breeding and plant breeding are maintained and adequately resourced. In particular, supporting phenotypic disease and pest resistance studies and understanding their significance is critical to enable molecular technology investments achieve practical outcomes and deliver subterranean clover cultivars with sufficient pathogen and pest resistance to ensure productive pastures across southern Australia.
    Crop and Pasture Science 07/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The agronomic performance of Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz (camelina or false flax) sown in autumn and spring over two consecutive years was tested in northern Italy. Seven C. sativa genotypes were tested and compared with rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). The main phenological stages and biometric traits were recorded, along with seed yield. In general, camelina showed a seed yield similar to that of rapeseed cultivated in the same locality and in the last decade in Italy. On average, the grain yields of camelina and rapeseed grown in the same location and conditions were ~1340 and 1625 kg ha–1, respectively. The agronomic performance of camelina varied, with climatic events having a greater effect than sowing season or genotypes. Among the investigated genotypes, however, C. sativa accession CAM 40 was the most adaptable to unfavourable environmental conditions and CAM 172 to favourable conditions. With regard to the two sowing seasons, autumn planting allowed for better performance than spring planting during the second cultivation year. The phenotypic plasticity of camelina was estimated for the first time in the present work. Branching capability was the most plastic trait under favourable yielding conditions. Among the tested genotypes, CAM 40 showed limited yield plasticity and CAM 172 demonstrated high plasticity for the same trait, offering a greater potential for future genetic improvement.
    Crop and Pasture Science 06/2014; 65(5):453.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phosphorus (P) fertilisers are important for productivity in many grassland systems. Phosphorus is a non-renewable and finite resource, and there are environmental and economic reasons for using P more effectively. We review the P balance of temperate pastures to identify the factors contributing to inefficient use of P fertiliser and discuss ways to improve P-balance efficiency. Immediate gains can be made by ensuring that P fertiliser inputs are managed to ensure that the plant-available P concentrations of soil do not exceed the minimum concentration associated with maximum pasture production. Unnecessarily high soil P concentrations are associated with greater potential for P loss to the wider environment, and with higher rates of P accumulation in soils that have a high P-sorption capacity. Soil microorganisms already play a crucial role in P cycling and its availability for pasture growth, but are not amenable to management. Consequently, plants with lower critical P requirements, particularly because of better root foraging, will be an important avenue for improving the P-balance efficiency of fertilised pastures. Traits such as long fine roots, branching, root hairs, and mycorrhizal associations all contribute to improved root foraging by pasture plants; some of these traits are amenable to breeding. However, progress in breeding for improved P efficiency in pasture plants has been minimal. It is likely that traditional plant breeding, augmented by marker-assisted selection and interspecific hybridisation, will be necessary for progress. There are practical limits to the gains that can be made by root foraging alone; therefore, plants that can ‘mine’ sparingly available P in soils by producing organic anions and phosphatases are also needed, as are innovations in fertiliser technology.
    Crop and Pasture Science 06/2014; 65:556-575.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2009, 95 farmers in the mixed farming zone of southern New South Wales (NSW), average annual rainfall 450–700 mm, were surveyed about their use of perennial pasture species. Survey responses indicated that, on average, 52% of land was under crop, 29% contained perennial pasture and 19% annual pastures. The proportion of land sown to perennial pastures and the species used differed with rainfall. Farmers identified concerns about the cost of establishment and poor survival of perennial pasture species as constraints to wider adoption. The survey also revealed that covercropping (sowing pasture species under the final grain crop in a cropping phase) was the dominant method of pasture establishment. Large-scale, on-farm participatory experiments were sown with the farm machinery, three at Ariah Park and one at Brocklesby in southern NSW in 2009 (annual rainfall 100mm less than long-term average), and a further two experiments (one at each location) commenced in 2010 (annual rainfall >200mm above average). These experiments compared the effect of cereal cover-crop sowing rate (standard rates used by the collaborating farmer and half of the standard rate) on the establishment of the perennials lucerne (Medicago sativa), phalaris (Phalaris aquatica), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), and chicory (Cichorium intybus) sown in different mixes and rates with various annual legume species. The persistence and productivity of individual species were monitored for 2 years after sowing. Results indicated little or no effect of the presence of a cover-crop on the initial establishment of any of the perennials, but pasture species survival were severely affected by cover-crop sowing rates as low as half of the farmer practice (10 kg barley or 12 kg wheat ha–1) in 2009. Despite higher than average annual rainfall in 2010 and 2011, the residual effect of establishing pastures under a cover-crop in 2009 was poorer persistence and lower productivity by lucerne at the standard covercropping rate, and by phalaris, cocksfoot and chicory at all cover-crop rates, and an increased incidence of weeds. Similar responses to cover-cropping occurred between 2010 and 2012, even with the wetter establishment conditions in 2010, for phalaris, chicory and weeds, despite demonstration at Ariah Park that higher populations of individual perennial species could be achieved by doubling the sowing rate of pasture seed in 2010. Lucerne compensated for lower plant numbers by increasing herbage growth in response to rainfall, but phalaris could not and total pasture productivity over the first 2 years after establishment was greatly reduced by the use of cover-crops in both 2009 and 2010. Cover-cropping also reduced annual legume seedset, which could have implications for future pasture performance. Lucerne was the most consistently productive perennial pasture species evaluated regardless of establishment technique or climatic conditions.
    Crop and Pasture Science 05/2014; 65(10):973-987.