The Pasture Improvement Initiative’s goal is to boost the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australia’s pasture feedbase, so we can realise the full potential of our livestock, pasture seed and fodder crop supply chains.
As the world’s population increases so too does the demand for food, feed and fibre. The oft-forgotten, all-critical link in this world-sustaining supply chain is the pasture feedbase: the cornerstone for livestock, fodder and crop production.
Yet Australia’s pastures are declining in terms of productivity and persistence; a result of an increasingly variable climate, reduction in the seed bank, a low rate of pasture renewal and a generational loss of pasture management knowledge, on-farm and along the supply chain. If this decline continues we jeopardise our ability to capitalise on the burgeoning opportunity provided by the increasing demand for food, feed and fibre.
With a growing population, the world requires more food, feed, fibre and energy than ever before, and consequently a more productive pasture feedbase.
Many countries are limited by geography and natural conditions. With its geographically unique and climatically diverse production systems, Australia has a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the world’s growing needs, especially across the Asian regions, both now and in the years ahead.
As much as 20% of Australia’s pastures, especially in our temperate regions, are declining in terms of productivity and persistence. If this decline continues we risk our ability to maintain our current feedbase and to take advantage of the opportunity presented by a world demanding the agricultural outputs in which we have had a traditional competitive advantage.
We can reverse the decline and revitalise our existing pasture base. With the adoption of a simple range of successful strategies farmers can boost their pasture and livestock productivity and build the resilience of our pasture based agricultural production systems. The Pasture Improvement Initiative will become the leading source of pasture improvement information for Australian farmers, their advisors and the pasture supply chain through its ‘clearing house’ information database. By having access to this timely, practical and regionally relevant information, farmers can adopt and implement proven pasture improvement tools which will start to create a more sustainable pasture feedbase.