Continuing the life of an old lucerne stand using Tonic plantain

Tonic Plantain

An old lucerne stand can continue to provide a high quality pasture with the inclusion of Tonic plantain. 

A normal practice with old lucerne stands which become uneconomical due to lack of plant numbers is to do a complete kill of the stand and go back into a cropping phase before possibly re-introducing lucerne at a later date.

A recent innovation is to introduce Tonic plantain, a highly productive perennial grazing herb, into the old lucerne stand.

The inclusion of Tonic plantain into an old lucerne stand offers the following benefits:

  • Provides increased autumn/winter activity when the lucerne component is predominately winter dormant 
  • Lucerne has a high nitrogen fixation providing the nitrogen required for Tonic plantain, increasing the overall quality and productivity of the pasture
  • Tonic provides key minerals which benefit the animal, reducing animal health issues associated with grazing lucerne 
  • Tonic will fill in the gaps where the lucerne has thinned out providing a highly productive pasture for lambing ewes or lamb finishing
  • Tonic can be successfully direct drilled into the lucerne stand in late winter before the lucerne becomes active
  • Control broadleaf and grass weeds prior to direct drilling Tonic.

Sowing rates of Tonic are 3-5 kg/ha depending on the state of the lucerne stand. Use 80-100 kg/ha of D.A.P fertiliser at sowing.

Tonic plantain is fast establishing, highly productive grazing herb. It is highly nutritious to stock and is very persistent when rotationally grazed. Tonic offers excellent growth rates and regrowth potential from grazing, particularly in autumn, winter and spring. It is very compatible with lucerne to improve livestock production and performance. Tonic is already widely regarded as a top performing
pasture throughout the Western District of Victoria, Gippsland, Tasmania and South East of South Australia.

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