$2.2 million investment to boost Australian export fodder productivity


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A new oaten hay agronomy project is the largest investment to date in the AgriFutures™ Export Fodder Program and will support growers to increase productivity, improve fodder quality and reduce production risk.

Investment in research development and extension (RD&E) activities that harness leading edge technologies to develop competitive advantage in export fodder markets is the key focus of the AgriFutures™ Export Fodder Program.

The latest project, worth $2.2 million, is set to have industry-wide benefits across producing regions and processing and assist the industry continue to expand its reach globally and domestically.

AgriFutures Australia Program Manager, Research and Innovation, John Smith said the new four-year project will address knowledge gaps in Australian export fodder agronomy and pathology.

“It’s a significant project that will focus on hay variety responses to changes in sowing date and nutrition on hay quality, disease impact, management intervention, and how these factors impact on return,” said Mr Smith.

“The project will work across all Australian producing areas, offering variety specific management information which will enable producers to increase productivity, improve fodder quality and reduce production risk.”

Project lead and Oat Research Agronomist, Georgie Troup from the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), is looking forward to providing growers with the support they need to enable them to increase the likelihood of meeting export quality demands.

“Producers can expect variety selection and nutrition advice, updated disease management guidelines and tools to better manage crops,” explained Ms Troup.

“There will be trials located in WA, SA, Victoria and NSW, and we will be working with grower groups in key hay growing regions to tackle regionally specific issues affecting export fodder production.

“By collaborating with a team of agronomy and pathology researchers across Australia we will have the best opportunity to answer the key industry questions and support growers.”

The oaten hay agronomy project will be delivered in partnership with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), Agriculture Victoria and the Department of Primary Industries New South Wales (NSW DPI).

In other program highlights, the AgriFutures™ Export Fodder Program has funded a $100,000 workplace safety standards project to identify key areas of WHS risk. An audit of processing facilities will be led by Australian Fodder Industry Association CEO, John McKew in conjunction with WHS specialist Training Compliance Australia and deliver strategies to alleviate processing risks.

More details about the research projects will be discussed at the 2018 National Fodder Conference, to be held in Adelaide from 29 – 31 July 2018, where AgriFutures Australia Program Manager, Research and Innovation, John Smith will deliver a national export fodder levy update.

Fast Facts

  • The Australian export fodder industry has supplied forage to countries across the world for more than 25 years
  • Key export fodder markets include Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan
  • In 2015, Australia exported 936,329 Mt of fodder, worth an estimated $383 million
  • Australia’s point of differentiation in the global market is the exporting of oaten hay (typically lucerne is the most widely exported commodity)
  • The majority of Australia’s export fodder is produced in Western Australia and South Australia.

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