Tagasaste - hardiness info & sources for seeds needed

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at sunsite.unc.edu
Wed Jan 7 23:57:09 EST 1998


I got a call from jeffamy at otn.net wanting to know where to obtain
seeds for Tagasaste for establishing fields of this shrub on a ranch
in Northern Montana.

If anyone has such info couild they post it here and email it to:
jeffamy at otn.net

I have heard that it is cold hardy and that it is not. I don't
have any references for supplies of seeds though.

Here is some limited info on Tagasaste from my archives:
--------------------------------------------------------

Dr Laurie Snook, an agricultural researcher, has written a book
about Tagasaste. Tagasaste is a hardy, leguminous shrub. In
temperate climates it can provide heavy yields of nutritious green
fodder for grazing animals.


Tagasaste fodder can be an important base for aquaculture. It
provides a high-protein feedstock for fish food from worm farms
and snail farms, and for freshwater crustacea. 

The shrub is being exploited in dryland Australia for high- protein
fodder. Even when grown on poor coastal sands tagasaste (correctly
fertilised) can produce high yields of edible dry matter containing
23% to 27% crude protein and only 18% to 24% indigestible crude
fibre.


Australian farmers now growing tagasaste are reporting these
additional benefits:

* Shade and shelter for livestock during climate stress. 
* Wind and water erosion control. 
* Increased soil fertility through nitrogen fixation. 
* Reductions in water tables causing salinity problems. 
* Habitat for native birds that eat pasture and crop pests. 
* Green firebreaks around homesteads and along boundary fences. 
* Winter nectar for bees. 
* Reduced internal parasite problems as shrub fodder is browsed
above pasture that harbours dung-borne worm eggs. 

Many Australian farmers are now following this revolution as soil
salinity and soil acidity problems make browse shrubs a most
sensible way to go in improving landcare.
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