Download a copy of the Landmaster Phalaris factsheet.
Landmaster (Phalaris aquatica) is a semi-erect, winter active variety, suited to moderate rainfall regions, which forms thick dense tufts of wide blue-green leaves that are very palatable to sheep and cattle. It was selected as a superior replacement for Sirosa. Landmaster is renowned for its ability to grow in more highly acidic, less fertile conditions compared to other Phalaris varieties currently available. It has also shown to have better persistence than Cocksfoot in low fertility soils. Landmaster has a low level of summer dormancy so it can respond to summer rainfall, potentially providing green feed all year round. It has excellent seedling vigour, which will assist in successful establishment. Once established, Landmaster will tolerate periods of waterlogging and inundation. Landmaster’s ability to grow in dry, low fertile soils extends the range of pasture species available to combat soil degradation. Another major benefit of the deep-root system of phalaris is it improves persistence and productivity under drought conditions. It is also useful in reducing recharge zones and helps prevent dry land salinity.
Phalaris pastures can be seriously damaged by Blue Oat Mite (Penthaleus major), Red Legged Earth Mite (Halotydeus destructor), Field Crickets (Teleogryllus commodus), Pasture Scarabs (Seriecsthis spp.), Slugs and Snails. Appropriate management of these insects is vital for successful stands, particularly during the establishment period.
Landmaster 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 Landmaster.
- A significant strength of Australian II is its ability to persist under heavy grazing in dry conditions
- Its prostrate growth makes it very well suited to set stocking systems and it demonstrates superior grazing tolerance and persistence compared to other Phalaris varieties
- It has excellent seedling vigour, which assists in successful establishment
Landmaster has and early to mid season maturity and is 7 days later maturing than Santiago. An adaptable variety which grows on a wide range of soils. It has a high percentage of soft seed (24%) –Santiago (8.5%) and erect growth habit with high herbage and seed production. Landmaster is an excellent ley farming option with dense regeneration. It also demonstrates excellent salt tolerance during key growing period compared to other species.
Disease issues are very rare amongst established stands of Phalaris.
Grazing of a newly sown pasture should be avoided until plants have become established. Grazing prior to effective establishment can cause plants to be pulled out reducing the population and pasture performance. Once established, Australia II will tolerate set stocking rotations and maintain plant density unlike other more erect Phalaris cultivars which perform best under rotational grazing systems. Many older Phalaris varieties have high levels of alkaloids which can cause Phalaris Toxicity (Phalaris staggers). New varieties such as Australian II contain lower alkaloid levels in the leaves and therefore provide a safer grazing alternative. However, in areas prone to Phalaris Toxicity plants should be grazed cautiously in the autumn and early winter. Australian II can be grown with other legume or grass species to help reduce the risk of illness in livestock. Phalaris Toxicity can affect sheep that are grazing on fresh growth after breaking rains. Stock are at the greatest risk when grazing on short, frosted plants, which mainly occurs during the autumn or the early winter period. To counter the potential problem, Cobalt bullets can be orally administered or by ensuring stock are not hungry when introduced to lush, green feed. The greatest risk to animals is when they are able to ingest a high level of herbage in a short period of time. Toxicity levels in the plant increases if plants are subject to stresses such as drought and frost.
Once stands are established it is recommended that you follow the points below to maximise the benefits and
persistence from your Phalaris stands:
- Lime acid surface soils if CaCl2 extractable Al is 8+ppm
- Sow Australian II rather than any other cultivar for set stock ability and long term persistence
- Apply superphosphate if Olsen P is 8ppm or less
- Graze winter active cultivars rotationally with 4–6 week spells in autumn–winter
- Set stock in spring
- Do not heavily graze new stems from summer regrowth
- Clean up stem residues in summer to increase clover germination and growth
- Do not graze too hard or too often after stem growth starts in spring, especially in a dry year.