Stockman Phalaris (Phalaris aquatica)
Stockman is the ultimate phalaris bred by crossing the traditional Australian cultivar with Holdfast phalaris.
Where can I grow it?
Frequently Asked Questions
Stockman is suited to a wide range of soil types and will tolerate waterlogging and salinity. While phalaris is not known to be acid soil tolerant, Stockman is grown and persists in such conditions.
Good base rates of phosphorus are necessary for maximum DM production especially during establishment phase. DM production is directly related to nitrogen availability. Consult your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist or fertiliser advisor for nitrogen application rates. Phalaris responds well to products such as gibberillic acid to increase winter production.
Due to being a fine seed, phalaris should be sown at 4-6 kg/ha alone or 1-3kg/ha when combined with another grass. Sow into a weed-free seedbed no deeper than 1cm. Rolling the seedbed after sowing will aid establishment. To minimise competition to seedlings as they establish avoid sowing in combination with vigorous grass species such as ryegrass.
Phalaris is also suitable for broadcast sowing (aerial or spread) but to improve seed-soil contact, roll the paddock after sowing. It is advisable to treat seed with ant insecticide to reduce seed theft if rolling broadcast seed is not possible (eg steep hill conditions).
Phalaris is best sown in autumn as the optimum temperature for seedling establishment is 15˚-20˚C. In districts with good levels of summer moisture, early spring sowings are also possible.
During emergence it is essential to monitor regularly for damage from insects such as RLEM and lucerne flea, and spray as required. Inspect during early stand life for populations of black-headed cockchafer and slugs. Contact your Upper Murray Seeds agronomist for spray application rates.
Phalaris is a slow establishing species so early weed control is crucial to long term viability of the stand. Always use knockdown herbicide to ensure you are sowing into a clean seedbed. Monitor for post-emergent weeds and spray as required. Use options such as spray-grazing for broadleaf weeds once the stand is established.
Once established Stockman phalaris can be crash grazed to a height of 10cm to encourage tillering and control weeds. It should be allowed to set seed prior to further intense grazing or cutting. By allowing the phalaris to flower, the plant can develop the buds and underground tubers which build carbohydrate supplies and improve long-term persistence. Once the Stockman stand has become dormant over summer, the dry residues should be lightly grazed to provide room for annual legumes to re-establish next autumn.
Phalaris is generally underrated for production. Stockman phalaris will provide nutritious feed throughout autumn, winter and spring. Maintain pasture quality by regular grazing and by sowing in combination with annual or perennial clovers.
Any mature phalaris stand can potentially cause poisoning therefore livestock management is critical. Avoid grazing short, vigorously growing fresh pick (ie after a summer storm) or phalaris seed heads.
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.