Painting the pasture seeds industry’s future: consultants, growers, researchers all play an important role on the AgriFutures Pastures Seeds Advisory Panel


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Lucerne crop

Temperate legume pastures may be the quiet achievers in the agricultural sector, underpinning livestock and cropping production systems, however the science underpinning the industry’s profitability and sustainability is a fine art.

AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Advisory Panel  is a melting pot with professional consultants, growers and researchers with experience in pasture systems. The Advisory Panel work with AgriFutures Australia to identify strategic research, development and extension priorities and  make funding recommendations to paint the industry’s future.

Driving bang for buck for levy payers

AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Advisory Panel and its members are a diverse bunch. With independent growers, consultants, and pasture production scientists they bring a range of skills and experience in the pasture seeds industry, however all are committed to driving research and development for the sustainability and profitability of the industry.

Outgoing Advisory Panel member and South Australian grower Joe Cook produces lucerne seed for both the domestic and export markets, with his seed shipped to the Middle East, the United States and South Africa.

As a long-time member on the Advisory Panel, Joe sees his role, as a grower, on the Advisory Panel is a very specific one; providing insights into on-farm priorities and ensuring the projects funded deliver value at the farm gate.

“I am motivated by seeing the value for our levies, and I like the fact that it is leveraged, so that we get maximum bang for our buck.”

“I’ve had a long association with the Advisory Panel and I hope I’ve added value by contributing to the Strategic RD&E Plan, and ensuring the process for researchers and consultants, making funding submissions, is smooth and user friendly,” he said.

“Being on this Advisory Panel is so far removed from what I do on a daily basis, but that’s what gives me a real buzz. We are doing fantastic things. For me, it’s about keeping your head in a curious space.”

Research changing on-farm practices

According to Joe, the AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program and Advisory Panel delivers on its promise of innovation at the farm gate.

“The pasture seeds industry is a small one with a constant group of growers always looking to drive industry improvement,” said Joe.

One example is the work the AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program has funded into lucerne seed wasp controls.

“This project has influenced my own cultural practices around timing and hygiene of fields and the ability to predict its prevalence.”

According to Joe, herbicide control options for Setaria verticillata (‘love grass’) in lucerne seed crops, have also been a game changer, along with Variety Trials to guide planting decision given the long-term commitment required to maximise production from a lucerne stand.

“I am really interested in the impact of variety trials with irrigation to see which lucerne seed varieties respond best to higher levels of irrigation stress,” said Joe.

Levies need to be practical, viable and sustainable

AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program Advisory Panel Chair Lisa Anderson, a Riverina grower and prime lamb producer based near Wagga Wagga NSW, is entering her second term as chair.

According to Lisa, a priority for the Advisory Panel is to make sure levy funded projects are practical, viable, adoptable and sustainable for growers.

“The members on our Advisory Panel are a diverse bunch who use their skill set to ensure levy monies are best spent so that growers can make a difference to productivity and profitability.”

Although members are driven by an altruistic desire to contribute to the profitability and sustainability of the industry, being part of the Advisory Panel and the AgriFutures Australia family provides opportunities for personal and professional development.

“We travel and see things you wouldn’t ordinarily see,” said Lisa. “Being on an Advisory Panel like this helps to build important industry relationships as well as connect with commercial partners.”

Interested in applying for a role on an AgriFutures Australia Advisory Panel?

AgriFutures Australia’s Advisory Panels consist of industry experts who meet regularly to determine research, development and extension (RD&E) priorities and make strategic investment recommendations to AgriFutures.

If you are passionate about making a positive contribution to your industry and would like to be notified of opportunities within the AgriFutures Australia Advisory Panels, please submit an expression of interest and we’ll notify you when we are recruiting for new members.

Submit an expression of interest Read more on the Export Fodder Program and Advisory Panel


Emma Hand

Manager, Research – Pasture Seeds, Export Fodder, and Ginger

0427 347 269

Pasture Seeds Advisory Panel Keith South Australia

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