Pasture seeds are a vital link in the agricultural system. They are used for both grazing and cropping systems for a variety of reasons. While we understand their importance to agriculture and Australia, until now we did not have a good understanding of where legume pasture seeds are produced, the amount produced, where they are exported to, or imported from. Collating and understanding where and how much pasture seed is grown across Australia will improve the capacity of the AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program, and the industry, to invest in and deliver research and development outcomes that are meaningful to all levy payers.
This project was commissioned to conduct desk top research around crops/varieties being grown, tonnages produced, states, regions and number of growers producing pasture seed, average hectares under production, and export/import data. The results from this project have highlighted the important production areas for key pasture species.
It is interesting to note that while the greatest amount of seed grown is lucerne seed and it is produced in South Australia, the majority of the white clover and red clover seed is grown in Tasmania. The research has also elucidated export information, Saudi Arabia was our main export destinations for lucerne seed, for a number of years, this has decreased significantly, and the USA has now become the main export destination. In regard to all clovers, the main export destinations are China, Italy, France and the Netherlands. Subterranean clover was particularly interesting with our main export destinations being Portugal and Italy.