Presto Burgundy Bean

Macroptilium bracteatum

  • A hardy, non-bloating summer legume
  • Growth habit can vary depending on environment
  • Suitable for grazing or hay
  • An early maturing variety selected for shorter growing season environmnent
  • Recruits readily from seed for extended stand life under good management
  • Greater autumn growth and cool season stay-green than previous burgundy bean cultivars
  • Suits a wide range of soils and 550mm+ rainfall

    Download a copy of the Presto factsheet.


    Presto is a legume from the Macroptilium family. Suitable for grazing in mixes, monoculture or hay production, it displays good drought, grazing and cold tolerance for sub-tropical environments. Presto establishes easily and also performs very well in combination with selected grasses.

    Presto is suitable for a wide range of soil types from sandy loams to heavy clays. It has been selected for its tolerance of the cooler conditions of the region; It will grow on into the late autumn, providing more palatable feed. Its persistence under grazing is for 2-3 years with high feed quality and Prestos large seeds assist with

    rapid establishment.


    Variety Management/Agronomy:


    Growth habit - Burgundy Bean is easy to establish and can quickly provide a canopy suitable for grazing. It is a persistent perennial due to its robust root system, and can continually produce new shoots.Its twining nature allows for growth in mixes with grasses and adds to productive value. It requires specific rhizobium for effective nodulation. Best regrowth can be obtained when the crop is fully established due to its capacity to

    store food reserves in the root.


    Uses - Suitable for both grazing or hay production. It is also suited to weed or erosion control. The Burgundy bean offers an alternative to lucerne, butterfly peas or lablab as a pasture or for fodder/forage production, and it performs very well in combination with selected grasses.

    Burgundy bean is highly palatable readily eaten by cattle and can be selectively grazed out. Management needs to be employed to maximise the production from Burgundy bean either alone or in mixes with grass, giving rapid live-weight, comparable to other legumes. Unlike lucerne, it does not cause bloat problem.


    Adaptation - Burgundy Bean is widely adapted and persistent with its ability to regenerate since pods can shatter and seedlings can readily develop from hard seed banks within the soil. Care must be taken in early developing stands to allow a hard seed bank to develop.


    Specific Management - Burgundy Bean is a short-lived perennial. It will rely on seedling recruitment for ongoing stand persistence beyond 2-3 years, such that older stands will become a mix of older crowns and newer seedlings. Burgundy Bean will pod and seed readily, with pods that shatter and disperse seed up to several metres away from the parent plant. Due to its palatability, management intervention may be required to ensure that the Burgundy Bean has periodic opportunities to set seed, particularly in younger stands. The early flowering nature of Presto allows greater opportunity to set seed within the growing season, while still providing late grazing as the season progresses.


    Sowing Rates:

    Despite the large seed, Burgundy Bean should ideally be sown shallow with good soil-seed contact. Establishment of surface sown seed may not be as effective. Seed should be planted when soil temperatures exceed 17 degrees C. Care should be taken not to plant in the hottest summer weather.


    Recommended planting rates for Presto AgriCOTE Burgundy Bean are:

    Stand Alone: 3-5Kg per Hectare

    In Mix: 2-5Kg per Hectare

    Irrigated: 6-10Kg per Hectare

    (Sub) Tropical Legumes

    Unlike tropical grasses, Tropical legumes are often more digestible and have a higher protein and energy. Whilst monocultures of tropical legumes can be grown, often they are used in conjunction with tropical grasses to improve the overall quality of tropical pasture systems.