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.

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.

Program news


Emma Rodham
Manager, Research – Pasture Seeds, Export Fodder, Ginger
0427 347 269

About your levy

Australian primary industries that choose to invest in the levies system prescribe the amount of levy or charge applied to a commodity under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 and the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998.

Levy and charge revenue can be directed to biosecurity preparedness and emergency plant pest and animal disease responses, residue testing, marketing and research and development. It is the decision of a primary industry to determine the proportion of how a levy or charge is directed to each of these activities.

The Levy is collected and distributed via the Department of Agriculture. For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment website.

AgriFutures Australia also receives Commonwealth matching funding based on 0.5% of the aggregate GVP of all AgriFutures Australia’s levied industries (Arena 3) or half of AgriFutures Australia’s eligible expenditure – whichever is the lesser. This includes expenditure in non-levied industries Arenas 1, 2 and 4 irrespective of their funding source.


AgriFutures Australia’s Board allocates the Commonwealth matching funding to each levied industry program. The respective programs will receive 50c per dollar of eligible expenditure (subject to availability of Commonwealth matching funding).

The total program budget comprises of the R&D levy allocation, Commonwealth matching funding (allocated by the AgriFutures Australia Board) and third party contributions (where appropriate). The graphs below represent the levy breakdown and the annual Program investment.

View the AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program income and expenditure for 2020-21 statement.

Related Publications


Lucerne seed wasp management: Biology and control of the lucerne seed wasp in Australia


Project overview: Herbicide resistance in lucerne seed production systems in the South East of South Australia.


Final report summary: Siriver - Producing lucerne breeders’ seed


Assessment of size and scope of the certified temperate pasture seeds industry

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