Townsville stylo can be sown in pure stands or mixed with grasses. Dry matter yields of pure stands may be 1-6 t/ha (Ecocrop, 2011). In mixed stands of Pangola grass (Digitaria eriantha)/Townsville stylo, yields were 9.3 t/ha/year compared with 5.2 t/ha from pangola grass alone (FAO, 2011). Used as cattle pasture, townsville stylo could sustain up to 2.5 beasts/ha in mixed stands with sabi grass (Urochloa mosambicensis) (Winter et al., 1977 cited by Lascano, 2001). Stocking rates of 0.5-1 beasts/ha appeared to be more realistic, considerably increasing carrying capacity of unimproved pasture (Cook et al., 2005). Average live-weight gains of 0.3-0.5 kg/hd/day were achievable in Australia and in Africa (Cook et al., 2005; Oyenuga et al., 1966 cited by Lascano, 2001).
Townsville stylo can be mixed with many grasses provided they are not tall and do not shade the legume. It is often sown with grasses such as buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) (low forms), birdwood grass (Cenchrus setiger), marvel grass (Dichanthium annulatum), Pangola grass (Digitaria eriantha), sabi grass (Urochloa mosambicensis), Bothriochloa pertusa, and with legumes such as round leaf cassia (Chamaecrista rotundifolia), lotononis (Lotononis bainesii), Stylosanthes guianensis var. intermedia, Stylosanthes hamata or Stylosanthes scabra (Cook et al., 2005). Townsville also combines naturally with spear grass (Heteropogon contortus) (FAO, 2011).
Before sowing, the land should be heavily grazed or burned to reduce grass competition and allow Townsville stylo to establish. Direct oversowing gives a lower stand density than sowing on disked land. Though a N-fixing legume, Townsville stylo does not necessarily require seed inoculation (Göhl, 1982). An important characteristic of Townsville stylo is that is it less palatable when young than mature, so that animals prefer grass during the first stages of development of the legume, giving it an opportunity to establish satisfactorily. Once established, Townsville stylo can be heavily grazed though it might result in prostrate habit of the plant. If grazing is done until the end of the growing season, seed set may be hampered (Cook et al., 2005).
Cut-and-carry, hay and silage
Though it is mainly grazed by livestock, Townsville stylo can be cut and fed to animals. It can also be made into good quality hay towards the end of the growing season (Edye et al., 1992). Townsville stylo should be mown into windrows, dried and baled within 3-4 days. Hay quality depends on N fertilization; hay yields were about 2.4 t hay/ha/year in Northern Australia (FAO, 2011).
Silage can be made from Townsville stylo if it grows erect among grasses: reports of Pangola grass/Townsville stylo making good quality silage are available (Kretschmer, 1968).
Standover or deferred feed
Townsville stylo acceptability improves with age and the standing dry matter is sought after during winter and spring. The seed content also improves the food on offer (FAO, 2011).