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 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 that 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 theindustry,” Ms Anderson said.
“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.
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,” Ms Anderson said.
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.
Certified temperate pasture seed growers and those involved in the industry are encouraged to download the AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program RD&E Plan 2019-2023.