The EVORIL project aims to explore, through the use of 8 case study sites in the Wakool Shire, the biophysical and economic feasibility of various pasture species for retired irrigation lands in the western region of the Murray Catchment, including establishment and grazing options.
The project has two components, small plot trials to evaluate new and existing pasture species/varieties and larger areas sown to improved pasture species to test livestock performance.
This is the fourth year (2017) of the trials. The small plot trials have a couple of purposes – one to test the suitability of the species/varieties to local conditions (soil and rainfall) as well as persistence/regeneration between seasons. Portions of the larger areas have been sown to lucerne in 2014, and further areas were sown in 2015 to species identified as having potential in the small plot trials. Species and varieties were principally selected on their ability to grow on approximately 375mm of annual rainfall. Other criteria included the ability to tolerate heavier soil types, frost, waterlogging and persistence (either producing hard seeds or drought tolerance). As a result, there are 4 different strategies examined in the trials: 1. Annuals that will grow, flower, seed and regenerate next season. 2. Annuals that will maximise growth from rainfall but require re-sowing each season. 3. Perennials, both shrubs, grasses and legumes that will survive the summer 4. Experimental species (natives and exotics) that are currently undergoing evaluation.
For more discussion scroll past photo galleries.
Trial Sites Across the Western Murray Region
below: Sowing seed at Neil Maddy's 2015
Below: Sowing Seed at Operina 2015. Some plants and pods present from 2014 trials.
Below: Planting salt bush and shrubs among seed trial sites at Richardson's (Glenallen) 2015
Below: Planting salt bush and shrubs among seed trial sites at Operina 2015
Below: Photos from the September 2016 Field Day : Much wetter season than 2015!