Pasture characteristics perceived by farmers of Western Australia in relation to adoption of annual pasture legumes
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Copyright © 2008 Australian Society of Agronomy.
A number of annual pasture legumes have been released in Western Australia since 1990 with the aim of a successful fit into the existing farming systems. However, the success of adoption of these species/cultivars has not been encouraging. This study used a survey of farmers to characterise the desired attributes of annual pasture legumes. Altogether farmers mentioned 47 attributes in relation to a ‘dream’ annual pasture legume. These attributes were analysed using a systems approach and a framework to evaluate annual pasture legumes in Western Australia (APL-Characteristics-Framework for WA) was developed. This framework consists of six sub-systems: establishment and growth, abiotic stress, insect tolerance, feed quality and supply, weed control, and economics. The components and sub-components for each sub-system were also identified. A further analysis showed interactions of the sub-systems of the APL-Characteristics-Framework. Findings of this study can help understand how, if any, pasture characteristics relate to adoption of annual pasture legumes in Western Australia.
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