Venus (Medicago sativa) is a semi winter dormant variety with a dormancy rating of 5 which will provide low to moderate levels of herbage production during the winter period, however, spring and summer production is excellent. It has exceptional persistence and productivity under dryland conditions making it well-suited to long-term pasture rotations while still providing a high quality feed option. Venus is a superior replacement for Hunter River and has been selected for multiple pest/disease resistances and herbage production. Venus has low-lying crowns which make it well-suited to grazing situations and has on average a crown size 25% larger than most other semi dormant varieties. All Lucerne varieties are deep-rooting and can be a useful tool in the control of rising water tables. It has an extended growing season into late spring and summer due to its ability to access sub-soil moisture. It can respond rapidly to rainfall events and provide important out of season feed during the late summer or autumn period. Lucerne can also be used as an important tool to control problem weeds, whilst fixing valuable nitrogen into the soil profile and providing an effective disease break.
Venus has been rated as highly-resistant to Spotted Alfalfa Aphid (Therioaphis trifolii) and moderately resistant to Blue-Green Aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi). As with all other Lucerne varieties, Venus is susceptible to Red Legged Earth Mite damage (Halotydens destructor).
Venus has been granted protection under PBR. Unauthorised commercial propagation or any sale, conditioning, export, import or stocking of propagating material of this variety is an infringement under the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 1994. Seedmark (Seed Technology and Marketing) has an exclusive licence for the production and marketing of Venus.
- Low lying crowns of Venus make it very well suited to grazing Its persistence, particularly in dryland conditions making it a very
- good option for long term rotations – providing a feed option even in incredibly tough conditions
- Longer stand life leading to increased returns per hectare
Venus has been rated as moderately resistant to Phytophthora Root Rot (Phytophthora medicaginis) and as having low resistance to Colletotrichum Crown Rot (Colletotrichum trifolii).
During the establishment period Lucerne seedlings are very vulnerable and care must be taken not to overgraze as it can cause a severe reduction in plant density. Once established, rotational grazing is very important to help improve persistence of the crop. Ideally spell before cutting or grazing until 10% of stems commence flowering, or crown shoots are 1–2cm long on 50% of plants. Avoid cutting or grazing lower than 5cm and it is important to have the crop grazed within a certain time frame (ie 4–6 weeks). Set stocking at moderate to high stocking rates reduces persistence.