Sowing & Establishment
Prepare a fine, firm weed free seed-bed prior to sowing which is important for all small seeded species. Wilpena sulla can be sown in early autumn, late winter or early spring. The use of a roller or press wheels ensures good seed to soil contact and moisture retention is optimised.
Wilpena should be coated with Superstrike® and be sown at 10 kg/ha and seed drilled no deeper than 10mm. A target establishment rate is 25 plants per m2.
Wilpena is best sown as a pure legume stand as it doesn’t compete very well against most other species. The key to success for sowing Wilpena with companion species is to establish it in the first season and then look at a companion species such as clovers in the second year.
6 mths - 2 years
Wilpena has been bred to be more upright in its growth habit and as a result is best suited to produce high quality forage; either silage or hay. Wilpena can be grazed, but correct management needs to be implemented to get the most out of Wilpena as well as ensuring stand survival.
Wilpena is best managed with rotational grazing. Grazing intervals will vary from 35 to 85 days depending on moisture, day length and soil temperature. It is advisable that in the first year, Wilpena should be lightly grazed to ensure good root establishment and second year plant density.
Avoid grazing when the soil is wet, especially with cattle so as to minimize hoof damage and pugging.
Allow regrowth of at least 30-40cm (12-16 inches) before grazing again with both cattle and sheep.
Do not graze below 10cm as this will slow regrowth potential down considerably.
It is well documented that pasture species which produce high levels of protein cause bloat in cattle. Though Wipena is high in protein, it produces condensed tannins which assist in the prevention of bloat in cattle.
Wilpena can be successfully ensiled or made into hay, producing high quality, highly digestible feed.
Where Wilpena is the main component, lactic acid content may increase, reducing the ammonia concentration and therefore lowering the pH resulting in high quality silage.
For optimum hay quality, Wilpena should be cut prior to peak flowering (aim for 10% flowering) with a mower conditioner. This is critical due to the thick nature of the stems that need to be conditioned so as to aim with the drying process. The height for cutting the Wilpena will also aid in the drying process so as to allow air flow around the entire windrow. Ideal height for cutting off the ground is between 15–30cm. Growers need to keep any raking to a minimum so as to keep the leaf of the plant, otherwise the hay result will be primarily stem which lowers the quality.
Rotational Grazed – Medium Term
Number of Grazings
Minimum 400mm rainfall per annum unless irrigated