Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan
New Pasture To Assist Western Australian Farmers
Victor P Taffa
- McGowan Government welcomes commercialisation agreement for perennial legume, lebeckia isanti
- Agreement between Murdoch University and South African Government’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC) follows decade of research and will support resilience of Western Australia’s farming systems
Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan has welcomed an agreement to commercialise a legume that could transform Western Australian soils and build resilience in the State’s farming systems.
Murdoch University’s Centre for Rhizobium Studies has spent more than 10 years researching legume plants capable of thriving in Western Australia’s sandy soils over summer, to allow farmers to carry sheep during dry months.
“Lebeckia could be a game changer for Western Australian sheep farmers, providing an alternative feed source for livestock during periods of lower rainfall and in dry years.” Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan said.
“Congratulations to Professor John Howieson and his team at Murdoch University for this achievement. John has worked for years to reach this point, and our State is deeply grateful for his dedication to agricultural R&D.”
It has the potential to support the welfare of grazing animals, and its nitrogen-fixing qualities could massively boost the productivity of currently wasted soils.
Murdoch has conducted extensive trials on South African legume, lebeckia with support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
Last night, Minister MacTiernan witnessed the signing of a commercialisation agreement for the new cultivar of lebeckia isanti by Murdoch University Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor David Morrison and ARC President and CEO Dr. Shadrack Moephuli.
Under the agreement, the new lebeckia crop will be made available to Australian and South African farmers with first seed available for sale next year.