In 2015, graziers with long-established stands of leucaena located within the Wandoan and Taroom districts approached The Leucaena Network seeking to improve the productivity of their leucaena in grass pastures using fertiliser.
Sixteen trial sites from ten producers were identified for project activities. These producers were to undertake soil testing and fertiliser application with three producers to proceed to biomass assessments and live weight gain trails.
The Wandoan region experienced very dry seasons and a lack of expected summer storms and winter rain throughout the extended, four-year duration of the PDS.
Consequently, only four producers were able to proceed to fertiliser application, of which three were able to contribute to biomass assessment. Two producers were able to undertake the live weight gain component of the project.
Two grazing trial sites resulted in a total group weight gain of the cattle on the fertilised leucaena compared to the unfertilised leucaena was of 512kg for one site and 463kg at the second site.
The short term economic benefits of the application of fertiliser to established leucaena stands have not been forthcoming however it is believed that the weight gain benefits demonstrated in the short term would continue to enable amortisation of the application costs over a longer period of time, justifying the costs and proving the initiative economically viable.
The outcomes of the PDS were demonstrated at a Field Day held in June 2019 and a short video defining the benefits of soil testing are available online at www.leucaena.net and on The Leucaena Network's Facebook page.