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Medic, Snail
(Medicago scutelata)

  • annual for higher rainfall areas
  • rapid establishment and growth
  • for ley pastures
  • late-flowering improves spring production.

Snail medics are large, vigorous annuals, very useful for ley farming systems in the higher rainfall areas of the Darling Downs. They fix large amounts of nitrogen, provide good winter and spring feed, and regenerate under cultivation. They do not regenerate well under permanent pasture, maybe because many of the snail-like seed pods are eaten by stock.

Snail medics establish quickly in wet autumns, but do not grow strongly in winter; they put on most growth in spring.

Sava and Kelson are recommended for Queensland. Sava is early-flowering (75-80 days), whereas Kelson is later at 100-105 days. Kelson needs vernalisation and will not flower before winter if it germinates in summer; it can make use of late spring rain to continue growing until November, giving it a long period of leaf production.

Snail medic is also planted under winter cereals and under forage oats at 1-4 kg/ha; pure stands are sown at 4-8 kg/ha.

Medics tend to regenerate in late March-early April, but are not a problem with winter wheat because of cultivation before planting.

The large seeds of snail medic should be buried 1-2 cm deep.

See also barrel medics.

Creator: Ian Partridge,
Date created: 14 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003

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