Lotononis can be planted vegetatively or from seed, preferably during autumn. Because the seeds are very small they should be broadcast at 0.5-1 kg/ha at a depth of not more than 5-6 mm on a well-prepared, firm and clean seedbed. Establishment is slow because seedling vigour is low (Cook et al., 2005).
Lotononis mixes well with a number of grasses such as Paspalum commersonii, Paspalum plicatulum, Paspalum dilatatum, Digitaria decumbens, and, if they are frequently defoliated, with taller grasses such as Setaria anceps. Lotononis does well with winter crops such as annual ryegrass, oats and triticale (Real, 2005). When lotononis is grown in a mixture, the competition with companion species should not be too strong as this will prevent rooting by stolons growing from the nodes, which is detrimental to stand longevity. It is also possible to grow lotononis in pure stands for rotational grazing (combining 2 weeks grazing with 4 weeks rest) or for cutting at 8 week intervals (Cook et al., 2005).
Lotononis yields well when inoculated with its specific Rhizobium strain. In Queensland, lotononis harvested after 4 months growth yielded 1.85 t DM/ha (Real, 2005; Cook et al., 2005). Dry matter yields may reach 2 to 8 t/ha, with most growth occurring at the beginning and end of the growing season. In very dry years, production may practically cease (Ecocrop, 2014).
Close grazing is recommended to secure stand persistence, as it encourages runners to root. On the contrary, light grazing allows the plant to form a deep sward and rely only on its taproot, preventing development of new roots. Deep swards of old taprooted plants retain more moisture and are more sensitive to leaf and root diseases, which may accelerate degeneration. Under heavy grazing, lotononis makes new roots and the stand remains short and is healthier. Under cutting management it was shown that a lotononis stand had the highest yield (6.7 ton DM/ha) when it was closely cut, at a height of 3-5 cm (Cook et al., 2005; Risso et al., 2004).
Lotononis bainesii is an excellent species for deferred feed because it remains leafy for a long time. In autumn and winter, its greenness and frost tolerance is particularly valuable. However, under severe frost, the foliage burns and turns black, disappearing into the ground after rain. Lotononis is, therefore, unsuitable as a deferred forage for winter grazing in cold regions (Real, 2005).
No information was found on lotononis hay (December 2014).
Good quality silage can be made from lotononis cut at 2.5-4 cm above ground and chopped without the addition of molasses (Catchpoole, 1970). Lotononis silage had a satisfactory pH (below 4.2), low concentrations of volatile components, and little loss of DM and N during storage. The final silage had 25.6% dry matter with 15.37% protein on a dry-matter basis (Real, 2005).