Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

A comparison between leucaena Leucocephala cv. Peru and Acacia Angustissima CPI 51651 in South-East Queensland

D.J. Myles

Queensland Department of Primary Industries, "Brian Pastures" Pasture Research Station, Gayndah. 4625.

The value of the browse shrub Leucaena leucocephala cv. Peru (leucaena) as a supplement for beef cattle grazing native spear grass pastures is being examined (1, 2) at "Brian Pastures". Acacia angustissima CPI 51651 (acacia) is another shrub that provides valuable browse in Southern Arizona and Northern and Central Mexico (R.L. Reid pers. comm.). The aim of this experiment was to compare the productivity of leucaena and acacia on two soil types.


Five replications of 2 x 5 m plots were sown in February 1977 as a 2 x 2 randomized block on each of two soil types. Treatments were (i) two species: leucaena and acacia and (ii) two levels of superphosphate broadcast before sowing: nil and 125 kg/ha. Soil types were a sandy clay loam derived from basalt (Ug 5.12) (3) and a coarse granitic sand (Uc 2.12) (3), with bicarbonate extractable phosphorus 63 and 53 ppm respectively. Plants of both species grew at a 30 cm spacing along rows 3 m apart. Leaf and pod yields of leucaena and acacia were measured in May and December by stripping these components from plants in 3 m of row per plot. Subsamples were bulked over replications from each soil type and analysed for N and P. Yields were analysed by an analysis of variance with replicates nested within soils.

Results and Discussion

Table 1. Leaf and pod D.M. yields (kg/ha) from leucaena (L) and acacia (A)

In a column or row, values of a component (i.e. leaf, pod or total) at each sampling followed by the same subscript are similar. (P < 0.05).

In May, leaf and pod yields of leucaena grown on basaltic soil were greater (P<0.05) than those from the granitic soil and greater (P< 0.05) than acacia leaf and pod on both soil types (Table 1). In December, there were no differences between leucaena leaf yield on either soil type although leucaena pod yield on the basaltic soil was superior (P< 0.05) to that on the granitic soil. Yield of leucaena leaf was greater (P <0.01) than that of acacia. No yield response to applied P was measured at either harvest. Leaf P varied from 0.12 to 0.18% and pod P from 0.24 to 0.27% for leucaena and acacia respectively with no effect of soil type. N concentration of components was 15% lower when grown on granitic soil than on basaltic soil. The minimum recorded N concentration was 2.00%. Acacia cannot be recommended as an alternative browse shrub to leucaena on either soil type.

1. Robbins, G.B., and Addison, K.B. 1981. Proc. Aust. Agron. Conf. Lawes p. 192.

2. Cooksley, D.G., and Paton, C.J. 1982. Proc. Aust. Agron. Conf. Wagga Wagga.

3. Northcote, K.H. 1965. CSIRO Aust. Div. Soils, Div. Rep. 2/65.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page