Growing profit from the ground up

Pasture Improvement Initiative

Pasture seed product database cuts to the chase

The latest edition of the Australian Seed Federation (ASF) Pasture Seed Product database is now available on the ASF website.

According to ASF CEO Bill Fuller, the database offers livestock producers, their advisors and the pasture supply chain a comprehensive, easy-to-access tool when it comes to selecting the right pasture, for the right place and purpose this season.

“Pasture is the most efficient, effective and economic source of feed for all grazing-based livestock enterprises,” Bill said.

“Growing more pasture at the right times of the year can create opportunities to increase stocking rates, joining weights, growth rates and reduce reliance on supplementary feeding.”

“The focus for leading livestock producers is to efficiently establish and manage pastures sustainably for optimal livestock performance.”

The quantity and quality of pasture available for grazing or fodder conservation underpins strategic decisions such as time of joining, time of lambing/calving, flock/herd structure, stocking rates and delivery of livestock into target markets.

There is increasing recognition by livestock producers, their advisors and supply chain participants of the need to establish a quality feedbase either to support livestock production or to act as a break within crop rotations.

According to Bill Fuller, the number of pasture species and pasture seed products commercially available to pasture seed suppliers and livestock producers in Australia has increased significantly during recent years.

Reasons for this include:

  • the availability of an increasing range of ‘new’ pasture and forage species with nutritional and biomass production profiles, which complement traditional pasture species;
  • the introduction and integration of innovations, such as disease and pest tolerance, pasture endophytes, marker assisted cultivar selection and hybridisation;
  • increased breeding activity in the development and supply of traditional proprietary pasture seed products, especially as a result of the transition from public sector breeding to private sector breeding programs; and
  • an increasing trend to introducing new pasture species and pasture seed products derived from countries with similar agro-ecological pasture growing conditions to that in Australia.

Sorting through the options

“As a result of these trends livestock producers, their advisors and pasture seed suppliers are seeking information relating not only to an individual pasture seed product’s adaptation and performance, but also to the intellectual property, marketing and varietal status of the various pasture seed products available on the market,” Bill said.

In recognition of the increasing demand to provide this information, the ASF Plant Breeders and Marketers Group identified the opportunity to collate and present information from its members in a structured and easily accessible pasture seed product database.

The Australian Seed Federation Pasture Seed Product database lists pasture seed products by species and identifies the intellectual property, marketing and varietal status of the various pasture seed products nominated by their Australian marketer.

The ASF Pasture Seed Product database covers the full range of pasture seed products available from pasture seed suppliers, which are adapted to the agro-ecologically diverse pasture and livestock markets of Australia.

The pasture seed products listed in the database include annual and perennial pasture grasses, legumes, forage and fodder crops and some herbs used within pastures. Search the database on the ASF website

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