A fresh research direction for Australia’s certified temperate pasture seed growers


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AgriFutures Australia has unveiled a new five-year research, development and extension plan (RD&E) for the certified temperate pasture seeds industry. Boosting harvesting efficiency, improving water productivity, and supporting effective disease, weeds and pest management  have been flagged as top research priorities for the $50 million industry.

Certified seed growers, seed cleaners, commercial seed suppliers, researchers, agronomist advisors and grower organisation representatives have united to develop a new RD&E Plan for the certified temperate pasture seeds industry.

The RD&E Plan outlines the AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program’s RD&E objectives for the next five years, with a strong emphasis on increasing the profitability of temperate pasture seed production.

AgriFutures Australia’s Pasture Seeds Program Panel Chair, Lisa Anderson, said the RD&E Plan addresses industry needs and concerns and will be used as a guide for investment in future research projects.

“A key objective of the RD&E Plan is to improve production and processing efficiency for the industry. We will do this by investing in research which looks at variety-specific agronomy trials as well as investigating machinery innovations that will increase the ease, cost effectiveness, and reduce the environmental impacts of seed harvesting,” said Ms Anderson.

The new RD&E Plan will also have a renewed focus on extension activities aimed at connecting and engaging certified temperate pasture seed producers and industry partners.

“A key objective of the RD&E Plan is to improve connectivity and communication so that we can ensure our research is adopted by our pasture seeds growers. We want to motivate growers to adopt research findings which could bring positive economic, environmental or social benefits to their operations,” said Ms Anderson.

AgriFutures Australia Pasture Seeds Program Manager, Dr Melanie Bradley said it has been an exciting year for the AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program, with the announcement of a new Advisory Panel and a number of innovative research projects in the pipeline.

One recently contracted research project aims to improve the efficiency and achieve improved environmental outcomes with subterranean clover and annual medic seed harvesting, through identifying harvesting machinery advances and developing specific agronomic and soil management approaches.

Another project is seeking to identify potential lucerne genotypes that have the ability to self-pollinate in the absence of bees.

In lieu of an open call for research proposals in 2018, the AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program will focus on a priority project to collect up-to-date statistics on the size and scope of the certified temperate pasture seeds industry.

“This project will ensure we have a sound understanding of our industry target audience as we implement the new RD&E Plan, it will provide the guidance we need to effectively measure R&D outcomes and impact as we deliver on our objectives,” said Dr Bradley.

“We look forward to the roll out of these new projects which will address key objectives in our new five year plan and continue to support the pasture seeds industry through targeted RD&E investment.”

Certified temperate pasture seed growers and those involved in the industry are encouraged to download the Pasture Seeds Program RD&E Plan 2019-2023.

For more information about the AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program, including project and research updates, visit our AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program webpage.

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