Funding call to innovate Australian pasture seeds industry

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An exciting opportunity is on offer for researchers, farmers and engineers to innovate the pasture seed industry’s approach to medic and sub-clover harvesting.

The Australian pasture seeds industry is an important contributor to the productivity of agricultural industries, notably pasture based livestock industries including beef, sheep and dairy.

The AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds research, development and extension (RD&E) program aims to grow the temperate pasture seeds industry through investment focused on improving seed production and processing efficiencies, promoting sustainability and developing pasture seeds markets.

To address the pasture seeds industry research priorities, preliminary research proposals are being sought via an open call process to improve the efficiency and environmental outcomes (soil conservation) of sub-clover and medic seed harvesting.

The Pasture Seeds Program Advisory Panel is keen to consider research proposals focused on the areas of mechanical development or improvement, plant breeding, agronomic packages and soil management techniques post-harvesting.

AgriFutures Australia Research & Innovation Program Manager, Dr Melanie Bradley, said the open call is a big opportunity to kick start innovation in the Australian pasture seeds industry.

“Pasture seeds harvesting can be a slow and expensive process, to grow the industry we need to create efficiencies, reduce costs and find new ways to protect top soil during the harvesting process.”

“We haven’t seen broad scale industry changes for harvesting medics and sub-clovers for some time. We’re seeking new and innovative ideas to create widespread industry impact,” said Dr Bradley.

There are approximately 500 growers of temperate pasture seeds in Australia and the total pasture seeds industry gross value of production (GVP) was estimated at $107 million in 2013 – more than 70 per cent of total industry GVP was generated in export markets.

The Australian pasture seeds industry is an established, mature rural industry with a levy in place to support RD&E. The pasture seeds open call works within the parameters of the Pasture Seeds Program RD&E Plan.

AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program RD&E Plan

 

Fast facts

  • Funding is on offer to support pasture seeds industry priorities focused on improving sub-clover and medic harvesting
  • The AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds program open call closes 12 January 2018
  • There are approximately 500 growers of temperate pasture seeds in Australia
  • The total pasture seeds industry GVP was estimated at $107 million in 2013
  • More than 70 per cent of total pasture seeds industry GVP was generated in export markets

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