Welcome to The Leucaena Network
The Leucaena Network is a leading producer group in the grass-fed beef industry of Queensland.
Members include livestock producers, leucaena & pasture seed growers, researchers & extension personnel.
Leucaena is a high quality, long-lived leguminous forage tree.
Leucaena has been in Australia for over 100 years, varieties used for grazing were first introduced by the CSIRO in the 1950s for beef systems in tropical Australia.
Today more than 200,000 hectares of leucaena have been successfully established, predominately in central QLD.
More recent plantings are found from Cooktown in north Queensland to Goondiwindi in the south.
The development of new cultivars has the potential to open up other areas in Australia to leucaena plantings.
Read more about using leucaena as a forage shrub in our
Wonder Weeds: Leucaena could help reduce
cattle methane emissions
Leucaena has been seen as a wonder fodder adding as much as a kilogram a day to cattle. But new evidence suggests that it doesn’t just help beef up livestock, it's also helping the planet by reducing the amount of methane cattle produce.
Source: Landline | Duration: 9min 2sec
International Leucaena Conference
The International Leucaena conference on the tree legume leucaena (leucaena leucocephala) and other species in the Leucaena genus was held in Brisbane Australia 29 October – 2 November 2018.
Read about the success of the conference
Top 10 tips to growing leucaena
Comply with the Code of Practice
The Leucaena Best Management Code of Practice provides guidelines to minimize the risk of leucaena spreading outside of where it is planted while maximizing beef production potential.
Carefully Select Your Variety
Existing varieties are Wondergraze, Tarramba and Cunningham. The recent release of a new pyslid resitant variety, Redlands, will provide a variety suitable to coastal environments were psyllids are highly prevelant.
Know Your Soil - Soil Testing.
Leucaena will grow in a wide range of soils but is most productive in fertile, deep and well-drained soils. It’s imperative to soil test paddocks selected for leucaena production prior to sowing to ensure adequate soil nutrient supply.
Location, Location, Location
Situate your leucaena on deep soils in frost free areas, avoiding cold hollows or flats that regularly frost.
Ensure Your Climate is Suitable
Although established leucaena can tolerate extended dry spells and droughts, the plant performs best in tropical climates with hot wet summers and mild winters with an average rainfall above 600mm.
Establishment technique is critical
The right planting time and adequate soil moisture are critical for reliable leucaena establishment. Plant as early as possible between September and March (depending on winter temperatures and frost potential), but only when there is at least 60-90cm of sub-soil moisture.
Seed must be inoculated with a Rhizobium bacteria immediately before planting to enable efficient nitrogen fixation.
Observe Row Spacing
Suggested row spacings are between 6 and 12m depending on soil type, rainfall (or irrigation), and the grass: leucaena forage balance required. Planting twin rows (as opposed to single) can ensure a hedge if one row doesn’t come up.
The Right Companion Grass
Companion grass is required for sustainable leucaena plantings and for maximum grazing benefit. A productive companion grass provides a balanced diet for cattle to maximize weight gain, utilizes the excess nitrogen produced by the leucaena, & provides ground cover to minimise stray leucaena seedlings & other weeds reducing runoff and erosion.
Do not rush preparation
Successfully establishing leucaena takes significant time and effort. Re-sowing a paddock because preparation was rushed is very costly. Do it properly the first time and leucaena will repay handsomely year in, year out for more than 30 years.
More information on
the Top Ten Tips for
can be found on
The Leucaena Network’s Members Only pages >>
TLN has a grassroots base
The Leucaena Network welcomes all who have an interest in the responsible use of commercial leucaena pastures to ensure that production and environmental benefits are maximized while the weed impact of leucaena is minimized.
contact our executive officer Bron Christensen
Do you have a great idea that you would like to share with the Leucaena Network?
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The Leucaena Network
The following information will assist with submissions for future research and funding. All information will be collated to provide industry overview only with no individual entity identified.
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