Published: 13 Jun 2018
The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) is playing a key role in a national project to ensure the quality and diversity of Australian pasture varieties are preserved for the future.
TIA leads the temperate grasses regeneration program for the Australian Pastures Genebank, which is Australia’s first national pasture and forage genetic resource centre.
The Tasmanian site at Cressy is one of four regeneration sites around Australia, with others located in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.
TIA Research Fellow, Dr Rowan Smith, said TIA provides approximately three million seeds each year as part of the program.
"Continued development and access of pasture species suitable to Tasmania’s climate and grazing systems is vital and the work we are doing in Tasmania is supporting the long-term availability of diverse pasture species for farmers," Dr Smith said.
“Purchased feed is one of the largest expenses for Tasmanian dairy farmers. Having access to quality pasture not only saves farmers money, but has the benefit of breaking up the cropping rotations and providing ground cover to protect soils from erosion.
"Pasture seed doesn’t last forever, so it is really important that we identify and prioritise the samples that need to be replaced to ensure they are viable and available for use into the future."
Want to know more? Dr Rowan Smith talks about the APG project in this video.