Cadiz and Casbah pastures in Western Australia: breeder's expectation, farmer's evaluation and achieved adoption

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Extension Farming Systems Journal


Print:1833-203X Electronic:1833-2048


Cropping systems, Agriculture Research, Pastures, Pastures Management, Agricultural systems


Agronomy and Crop Sciences


Traditional annual pastures have many shortfalls against the Western Australian soil and climatic constraints. To overcome those constraints, improved annual pasture legumes have been introduced into Western Australian farming systems. Since 1991, more than twenty annual pasture legumes have been released in WA, of which French serradella Cadiz and Biserrula Casbah are significant in terms of prospects for adoption. Our study shows a significant gap between maximum attainable adoption potential (MAAP) and current level of adoption with both of these species. Two questions were: Is this the level of adoption breeders had been expecting? Do the farmers support the breeders view? In this study we have applied a model to predict the adoption of Cadiz and Casbah using inputs from breeders and farmers. The model inputs are four pasture characteristics: superiority in establishment and growth, strength in controlling weeds, ability to supply feed and its quality, and competition between the existing pasture cultivars. The scores for the inputs were collected separately from breeders, who developed the legume species, and farmers who were growing them. Our results indicate that breeders were expecting Cadiz and Casbah would be adopted in about 32% and 22% of their potential areas (MAAP) compared to the achieved adoption of 23% for Cadiz and 20% for Casbah. On the other hand, model output using farmers' evaluation scores shows that adoption of both the pastures was within 3% of what has been achieved. Three key learnings from this paper are: - The achievable adoption potential of an annual pasture legume can be predicted from farmers' and breeders' perceptions of its attributes. - Farmers' perceptions of the inherent characteristics of an annual pasture legume were not always consistent with breeders' perceptions and this has implications for development and extension. - The model used in the study can be used to help improve the breeding, development and extension of future annual pasture legumes.