The AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program invests in RD&E that maximises opportunities and minimises risks for a profitable and sustainable pasture seeds industry with a reputation for reliable supply of quality pasture species.

Key components of the program

Key components of this program include improving seed production and processing efficiencies and investing in pasture seed market development.

About the industry

The AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds RD&E Program is concerned with certified temperate pasture species, including medics, lucerne, serradella, sub-clover and clover.

The importance of this industry to Australia lies in its contribution to the productivity of other agricultural sectors. Certified temperate pasture seed (seed produced and processed to meet quality scheme requirements) contributes to the productivity of pasture based livestock industries including beef, sheep and dairy. Sown pastures provide break crop benefits to the grains industry and temperate pastures provide cut fodder for the dairy and equine industries.

There are approximately 500 growers of temperate pasture seed in Australia. Annual production of seed from these species has been estimated at 20,600 tonnes excluding farmer-to-farmer seed sales, while the annual production of certified temperate pasture seed has been estimated at 8500 tonnes.

Total pasture seeds industry gross value of production (GVP) was estimated at $107 million in 2013 with leviable crops valued at $36 million. More than 70% of total industry GVP was generated in export markets. Pasture seed exports were dominated by sales of certified lucerne seed to Saudi Arabia. Other important export markets include Argentina, the US, China and Italy.

Industry Advisory Panel

AgriFutures Australia is committed to working with industry to deliver research and development outcomes. We work in partnership with advisory panels to decide on research priorities and to make investment decisions each year.


The program is funded by statutory levies paid by industry participants. Half of program expenditure, including R&D expenditure, is matched by the Australian Government at up to 0.5% of industry GVP.

RD&E plan

The Pasture Seeds Program RD&E Plan 2019-2023 has four main objectives:

  • Production and processing efficiency and profitability
  • Sustainable certified temperate pasture seed production
  • Connectivity and communication
  • Building industry capability and capacity.

The AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program is overseen by the Pasture Seeds Advisory Panel, with a primary focus on those pasture seeds levied to fund the program.

Research open call

AgriFutures Australia seeks research project proposals through an open call process aligned with individual program research priorities. An open call will not be conducted within the AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program during 2018/19 due to drought conditions that have impacted program income.

Program news


Annelies McGaw
Manager, Research
02 6923 6913
0407 987 738

Related Publications


Project summary: Capitalising on the discovery of Messina for the pasture seeds industry


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Messina (Melilotus siculus) Management Package


Capitalising on the discovery of messina for the pasture seeds industry

Related Resources

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AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program Industry Update January 2019

Project updates from our AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program.


AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program Industry Update November 2018

Project updates from our AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program.


Pasture Seeds Program RD&E Plan 2019-2023

The AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program RD&E Plan 2019-2023 outlines the program RD&E objectives for the next five years, which have been shaped by the goals and strategies of the AgriFutures Australia Strategic R&D Plan 2017-2022.

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Pasture Seeds R&D Program Five Year R&D Plan 2013-2018

This Five Year Plan has been developed by RIRDC, in consultation with industry stakeholders, to outline the Pasture Seeds industry’s research, development and extension (RD&E) objectives until 2018.

Read More

Latest News and Events


A fresh research direction for Australia’s certified temperate pasture seed growers

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.


Industry collaboration sowing the seed for future productivity

The AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program is growing from strength to strength in 2018; a new Advisory Panel has been appointed and industry collaborations are gaining momentum, with a major project underway that will support growers’ choice of seed varieties in the future.