Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Ports; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade

    New pasture to assist WA farmers

    5/09/2019 9:00 AM
    • ​McGowan Government welcomes commercialisation agreement for perennial legume, lebeckia isanti
    • Agreement between Murdoch University and South African Government's Agricultural Research Council (ARC) follows decade of research and will support resilience of WA's farming systems

    Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has welcomed an agreement to commercialise a legume that could transform Western Australian soils and build resilience in the State's farming systems.


    Murdoch University's Centre for Rhizobium Studies has spent more than 10 years researching legume plants capable of thriving in WA's sandy soils over summer, to allow farmers to carry sheep during dry months.


    Murdoch has conducted extensive trials on South African legume, lebeckia with support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.


    Last night, Ms MacTiernan witnessed the signing of a commercialisation agreement for the new cultivar of lebeckia isanti by Murdoch University Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor David Morrison and ARC President and CEO Dr Shadrack Moephuli.


    Under the agreement, the new lebeckia crop will be made available to Australian and South African farmers with first seed available for sale next year.


    Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:


    "Lebeckia could be a game changer for WA sheep farmers, providing an alternative feed source for livestock during periods of lower rainfall and in dry years.


    "It has the potential to support the welfare of grazing animals, and its nitrogen-fixing qualities could massively boost the productivity of currently wasted soils.


    "Congratulations to Professor John Howieson and his team at Murdoch University for this achievement. John has worked for years to reach this point, and our State is deeply grateful for his dedication to agricultural R&D."


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