Agronomic support packages for raised bed Lucerne Seed Production

Premier Seeds Australia P/L

  • Project code: PRJ-000024

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, July 1, 2007

  • Project completion date: Friday, April 30, 2010

  • National Priority: PSE-Production and processing efficiency and profitability


This Project will provide Lucerne Seed Growers with a detailed agronomic support package for rowing the crop on raised beds. The project will investigate and document pathways to Best Management Practices for growing irrigated lucerne seed on raised beds. Investigations into irrigation management, sowing rates, and other agronomic practices including all input costs which will lead to growing a highly productive lucerne seed crop will be undertaken.
Additionally, irrigation monitoring and scheduling will be undertaken with a real time Capacitance Probe with data logging capability to fully observe the patterns of wetting and drying of the profile by the lucerne seed crop. Throughout the project there will be several opportunities for interested parties to participate in farm walks where they will be able to see trial sites first hand, and make their own judgements on the results of the reserch. This will be an opportunity for researchers to present their data in field, prior to more major publishing events, such as in industry publications, conferences, and producing the Best Management Guide.


Pasture Seeds

Research Organisation

Premier Seeds Australia P/L

Objective Summary

The project will produce a Best Practice Guide for Irrigated Lucerne Seed on Raised Beds which will be made available to all interested lucerne seed growers and potential growers, as well as industry personnel. This support package will provide an innovative and efficient production system which is envisaged to assist the industry improve lucerne seed yields. Given this potential, the impacts on other program objectives and goals will be significant. This project will assist with risk assessment on emerging technologies by providing an opportunity to accurately follow and try the new technology in real fields owned by real farmers, without undertaking promotion of the system prior to in field testing and documentation of raised bed farming of lucerne seed. There is potential for rice farmers to incorporate lucerne seed into their farming system which will be profitable, but also will yield the environmental credibility required by the irrigation industry. The perennial nature of lucerne and its reputation as being an excellent seeker of soil moisture will be of benefit to any farming system that introduces the crop.