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SilverLand GT 5 Lucerne (Medicago sativa)

SilverLand GT is an extremely persistent lucerne that withstands significant grazing pressure. Due to its high levels of disease and pest resistance it’s a long-term crop option for any lucerne producer.

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Key Features

  • Winter activity 5 - semi-winter active
  • Extremely persistent because of its broad disease resistance
  • Ideal for areas with good winter rainfall
  • Predominately used for summer forage
  • Tolerates high levels of salinity, up to 10,000ppm

Plant Characteristics

  • A well managed stand is likely to persist 10+ years
  • Erect, leafy growth habit with a low, broad crown
  • Highly resistant to spotted afalfa and blue-green aphids
  • Rapid regrowth after grazing or cutting
  • Highly persistent in dry conditions

Where can I grow it?

  • Bred to suit all Australian lucerne growing areas
  • Tolerates frost and cold winters
  • Persists in saline soils and retains its high quality and palatability

Seed Size

  • 440,000-500,000 seeds per kg (Source: Pasture Varieties used in NSW 2006-2007, Bev Zurbo, 2006)

Sowing Rate

  • 6-15 kg/ha (dryland)
  • 15-30 kg/ha (irrigation) alone

Blend Rate

  • 1-4 kg/ha

Frequently Asked Questions

SilverLand GT grows well on a wide range of well drained soils including deep loams, sands, loam over gravel or clay but does not produce as well on shallow soil types. SilverLand GT has improved acid soil tolerance although it is highly recommended to lime prior to sowing. All lucernes are sensitive to high aluminium levels common in low pH soils. This reduces root development and hence plant productivity. Soil testing is recommended prior to sowing.

Saltlander® technology in SilverLand GT extends the potential for growing lucerne in more saline soils, where the key factor is long-term persistence. Most established lucerne stands will withstand short-term saline shock but SilverLand GT will thrive at salinity levels of up to 10,000ppm (mg/L) and persist, with lower production, at even higher salinity levels.

Survival levels will vary from site-to-site due to the chemical composition of salts and interactions with other soil factors such as pH and soil moisture/water profiles.

Mature SilverLand GT will benefit from annual phosphorus and potassium applications, especially if removing hay/silage from the paddock.

SilverLand GT is suitable for autumn and spring sowing. The time of sowing normally 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 allows the opportunity to improve weed control and seedbed preparation. For spring established lucerne aim to sow mid August onwards as the soil temperature begins to increase and daylight increases.

Sow at 6-15kg/ha (dryland) or 15-30 kg/ha (irrigation) alone or 1-4kg/ha when a component of a pasture blend. Sow at approximately 1cm depth. Lucerne seed must be inoculated with the AL strain of rhizobium to ensure effective nodulation and prompt establishment. SilverLand GT is only available as a coated seed which enhances seed vigour. Do not sow into an ‘old’ lucerne stand. Allow a minimum of one year between stands to create an effective disease break.

Monitor regularly during emergence for insect damage from pests such as RLEM, aphids and lucerne flea and spray if required. SilverLand GT is highly resistant to spotted, bluegreen and pea aphid species. It also has good levels of resistance to nematodes (eg highly resistant to root-knot, resistant to root-lesion and moderately resistant to stem nematode).

Phytopthora root rot, Anthracnose and Fusarium crown rot can severely damage lucerne however SilveraLand GT has high resistance levels to these diseases.

Spray out any old pasture/crops with glyphosate prior to sowing but speak to your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist about the correct rate to use depending on the size of weeds present. Also consider using a pre-emergent herbicide such as trifluralin.

Weed control in young lucerne can be challenging due to its slow seedling growth. Most broad-leaf herbicides cannot be applied until the lucerne is at the third trifoliate leaf stage. Weeds need to be treated when small. Once a stand is established (>1 year) there are more winter cleaning options and herbicide efficacy is improved.

Allow the stand to reach approximately 20cm high and ensure that the plants cannot be pulled out prior to grazing. Allow lucerne to flower in its first year so the plant can strengthen its crown and taproot.

Monitor the first grazing carefully and remove stock before they begin to graze near the crown of the plant. Rotational grazing (or strip grazing) is essential for productivity and longevity of the stand. Lucerne can withstand set stocking during spring provided sufficient moisture is available. Avoid damaging the crown of the lucerne plant.

SilverLand GT is highly regarded due to its ability to produce top quality, out-of-season feed. It has a high leaf:stem ratio, excellent palatability and digestiblity. SilverLand GT has good levels of metabolisable energy and is a reliable source of crude protein.

Bloat is the most common animal health issue, especially in cattle. Ensure roughage (hay/straw) is available. To optimise livestock weight gain and health, ensure livestock are vaccinated and drenched. To prevent nutritional problems, make gradual diet changes when introducing hungry stock to lush pastures. Contact an Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for more information.

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SilverLand GT is protected by patent. The use of this variety is restricted to hay, forage and pasture production. Its use for any other purpose such as propagation by seed or any other means, or reselection, or source of parental material in lucerne breeding, or a parental component in seed production is an infringement under the Patents Act 1990.

SilverLand GT is protected by Plant Breeder’s Rights. Unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material of this variety is an infringement under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994.