Investment in quality seed

By Dairy News

UPPER MURRAY Seeds from Albury will launch the new Silver varieties of lucerne at Henty and Elmore field days in Victoria after they garnered plenty of interest at AgQuip in August.

“We launched our new lucerne varieties in northern NSW in August at the AgQuip field days and received some really positive feedback about both varieties,” Upper Murray Seeds northern NSW agronomist Tony Christian said.

He said feedback about SilverSky included, “SilverSky is powering along in the cold conditions, it is obviously as winter-active as you claim.”

Meanwhile, feedback about SilverLand GT included: “SilverLand GT is the real deal in terms of grazing tolerant lucerne. Looks like you could graze it every of the week because of its low crown. And it’s staying green now, not drying off like the other lucernes with a winter activity level five.”

SilverLand GT

SilverLand GT is an extremely persistent, moderately winter-active variety that withstands significant grazing pressure, and with a high level of disease and pest resistance, is a long-term crop option for any producer.

Key features include:

  • Australian bred, high winter-dormancy.
  • Persistence due to a low crown.
  • Suitable for good winter rainfall areas.
  • Predominately used for summer forage.
  • Saline tolerant up to 10 000ppm.

The erect and leafy variety has a rapid regrowth rate after cutting, or grazing by sheep or cattle, and will persist through those tough, dry conditions.

Suitable to inland regions of Australia, SilverLand GT grows well on a wide range of well drained soils including deep loams, sands, loam over gravel or clay and under ideal conditions, is likely to persist for at least 10 years.

It does not produce as well on shallow soil types.

Silverland GT is sown at a depth of 1 cm and at a rate of 6–15 kg/ha alone or 1–4 kg/ha as a component pasture blend.

Mr Christian said SilverLand GT was highly regarded due to its ability to produce top quality, out-of-season feed.

“It has a high leaf-to-stem ratio, excellent palatability and digestibility, and has good levels of metabolisable energy making it a reliable source of crude protein.”


Mr Christian said SilverSky was another outstanding lucerne variety that set the bar high in terms of dry matter production, performing extremely well through winter and summer and making it ideal across a wide range of forage systems.

Key features include:

  • High yielding premium quality lucerne suited to fodder production.
  • Persistent and extremely winter-active.
  • Rapid regrowth, especially during winter.
  • Australian bred to suit most lucerne growing areas.

Sown at 6–15 kg/ha alone or 1–4 kg/ha when a component of a pasture blend. Sow at approximately 1 cm depth.

Suitable to grow in the sub tropics through to dryland, SilverSky thrives on irrigation and tolerates frosts and cold winters.

Like SilverLand GT, SilverSky grows in a range of well-drained soils.

Sowing depends on the rainfall and climate of the region; autumn establishment is better suited to winter active or highly winter-active varieties as they have better frost tolerance.

Delayed sowing provides an opportunity to improve weed control and seedbed preparation.

For spring establishment aim to sow mid-August and onwards as soil temperature and daylight increases.

The third generation of the Sutherland family is now involved in the privately-owned Upper Murray Seeds, which is a vertically-integrated seed business with a focus on quality products, excellence and professional service.

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