Lotus commercialisation

Future Farm Industries CRC has worked on breeding four new Lotus corniculatus cultivars suitable for sowing in grass-based pastures in the 650 to 850 mm zone of southern Australia. The new cultivars tolerate acid and waterlogged soils and are therefore have potential for growing in areas that are unsuitable for lucerne. They have varying levels of productivity.

The CRC is developing agronomic packages for these new cultivars with the aim of: benchmarking the performance of Lotus corniculatus relative to subterranean clover in grass-based pastures, determining the best sowing techniques for the establishment of Lotus corniculatus and identifying grazing management strategies to maximise persistence.

Early results show that where significant summer and early autumn rainfall occur, Lotus corniculatus provides significantly more dry matter during this time than subterranean clover. Feed supplied at this stage (summer, early autumn) is of higher value than dry matter grown in spring which is a period when subterranean clover producers more dry matter than Lotus corniuclatus.

The preliminary research conducted on sowing methods identified that sowing monoculture rows of Lotus corniculatus (a sequence of one row of Lotus only and one row of Phalaris only) produces significantly higher establishment rates of both species compared with sowing them in the same row (mixed row showings).

Grazing management strategies will be applied this spring (2013).The CRC is currently (2013) seeking commercial partners to further develop and market the Lotus cultivars.

Contact: Graeme Sandral



Further Information


Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) ceased trading on 30 June 2014.

This website contains information about the CRC’s research into perennial plant based farming systems.

This site will remain live until 30 June 2017 but is no longer being updated or reviewed.

Further information about CRC research projects can be obtained by following links from relevant project pages or by viewing the research transfer page.

The CRC was funded for seven years (2007-2014) under the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre program.