L56 Lucerne Seed - Semi-Winter Dormant



L56 Lucerne Semi-Winter Dormant

Medicago sativa

L56 is a high yielding variety with excellent forage quality and greater persistence on all soil types. It offers greater management flexibility than winter active varieties and excellent seedling vigour for quick establishment. Very high resistance to the major disease Phytophora Root Rot makes it the ideal option across soil types that are heavier or less than well-drained. Recommended where MPR problems are known to occur.

  • Very high yields and exceptional forage quality
  • New industry benchmark for persistence
  • Flexible management option
  • Highest levels of Multiple Pest and Disease resistance of any Lucerne variety in Australia
  • Semi-winter dormant (winter activity _ 5)

Seed agronomy table

Winter Activity 5
Min Rainfall (mm) 250
Seeding Rate Kg/Ha
Dryland 4-8
High Rainfall / Irrigation 10-20


  • Perennial, year round production.
  • Deep rooting, extracts water and nutrients from depth, restricts water table recharge.
  • Moderate tolerance of soil salinity and sodicity.
  • Responds quickly to spring and summer rainfall (or irrigation).
  • Dual purpose (grazing and hay).
  • Highly productive.
  • High nutritive value.


  • Short-term persistence in some regions (mainly due to disease susceptibility).
  • Susceptible to waterlogging.
  • Needs rotational grazing.
  • Can cause bloat in cattle.

Plant Description

Plant: Deep rooted, upright, perennial legume.
Stems: Erect from 40 – 80 cm high at 10% flower.
Leaves: Comprise three smooth, slightly toothed, oval, wedge shaped to pointed leaflets, sometimes with white crescent shaped markings. Leaf veins strong, straight with little branching. Broadly triangular stipules with one or more small teeth occur at the point of leaf attachment to the stem.
Flowers: Pea flowers, mostly purple in colour, and about 8 mm across, borne in clusters up to 4 cm long at the tops of branches.
Pods: 4 – 5 coils in a spiral, spineless with a hard outer surface; produced in clusters; 1 – 5 seeds/pod.
Seeds: Small, green to yellow to light brown in colour; kidney shaped; 440,000 – 500,000 seeds/kg.

Pasture type and use

Medium term perennial (3 – 5 years); year-round production, predominantly in the spring/summer but with varying levels of winter production (winter activity). Used for conservation, particularly hay production; as a ‘ley’ legume in cropping rotations (often called a ‘phase’ legume in such systems in southern and Western Australia); and as a medium-term legume in long term grass pastures in the subtropics.

Where it grows

Rainfall: In rain grown stands, 500 – 1200 mm/annually (subtropics); 250 – 800 mm/annually (southern and Western Australia).
Soils: Lucerne requires deep, well-drained soils (sands to moderately heavy clays) with a slightly acid to alkaline pH. It is intolerant of high levels of exchangeable aluminium and even short periods of waterlogging.
Temperature: Optimum temperatures for dry matter production range from 15 – 25_C in the day and 10 – 20_C during the night. However, this will vary with the winter activity level of the cultivar.

Animal production

Feeding value: Lucerne is highly digestible (60 – 75 %), is a good source of crude protein (15 – 25 %), and has high levels of metabolisable (8 – 11 MJ/ kg DM).
Palatability: Very palatable.
Production potential: Daily live weight gains for beef cattle range between 0.7 kg/head/day from stemmy lucerne to 1.5 kg/head/day from young, leafy regrowth. Live weight gains of 300 – 400 g/head/day are achievable with lambs.
Livestock disorders/toxicity: There are few problems. To avoid cattle bloat, nitrate poisoning and red gut, do not graze immature/lush lucerne, especially with hungry stock (pre-feed with dry roughage).


1kg, 25kg