Control of gorse (Ulex europaeus) in dryland pasture converted from Pinus radiata forest.
The effect of crop sequence, pasture species mixture and nitrogen fertiliser on gorse establishment was monitored over 23 months in land converted from pine forest to a dryland sheep pasture. There were fewer gorse plants in plots sown initially into the forage crop triticale and then into grass-legume pasture than plots sown directly into grass or grass-legume pasture. Once the triticale was grazed, under-sowing grass-legume pasture beneath rape to establish clover rich pastures suppressed gorse more than sowing grass-legume pasture directly. There was no effect of nitrogen fertiliser applied at 150 kg N/ha/year on gorse plant density or cover. Appropriate management tools to control gorse in forest to pasture conversions include a combination of crop sequences where forage crops are followed by pasture and the establishment of pasture legume rich herbage. This type of pasture is preferred by livestock and results in high grazing intensity of gorse seedlings growing in the pasture.