Growing profit from the ground up

Lucerne proves its worth over the years

Farmers: Nick and Jane Trethowan
Location: Kojonup, Western Australia
Property size: 1500ha
Mean annual rainfall: 510mm
Soils: Heavy sandy loams
Enterprises: Merino sheep (10,000 head) and cropping (canola, barley and oats)

Nick and Jane Trethowan have always been enthusiastic about lucerne and have had recent success incorporating it into a pasture cropping system.

“I first put lucerne in about 10 years ago (2003).  I grew it for three years and was going to spray it to grow a crop, but the lucerne stand was looking bloody marvellous and there was no way I could bring myself to kill it. So I decided to grow a crop through it,” Nick said.

“I thought I should knock the lucerne back a bit to give the crop a chance, so the first time I did. I don’t bother now — I just plant the crop through the existing lucerne stand.”

Click here to download the Trethowan case study (PDF 316kb)

Note: This case study first appeared in the Future Farm industries CRC Future Farm magazine during 2013.