Fodder Crops

Program Overview


Fodder includes a wide range of crop and pasture species that are grown, harvested and lightly processed for both on-farm use and domestic export trade. Fodder production includes hay and silage of all types (pasture, cereal, Lucerne, clover and others), chaff (coarsely chopped dried whole plants), vetch and pelletised feed.

Around one third of all Australian commercial scale farms (38,000 properties) make hay each year. On average around 70 per cent of fodder used on Australian farms is produced on-farm. Domestically, fodder is consumed in the dairy, broad acre, horse, feedlot and horticulture sectors. Key export markets include Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan.

Swinging production volume trends and volatility in weather during curing and storage from season to season, places an emphasis on research and development to address the risks and provide mitigation measures for farmers. The industry has focused strongly on addressing market requirements, establishing new markets and developing a high quality product with the majority of growers producing hay and silage targeted at particular markets.

There is no statutory levy on fodder crops. Funding is provided by RIRDC core funds and industry voluntary contributions. A sustainable funding mechanism for fodder crops is being pursued by the industry. 

RIRDC is committed to providing funds to the fodder crop industry and managing the sub-program until 30 June 2017, at which time if no alternative funding mechanism is in place RIRDC support for the industry will be reviewed annually on a competitive basis across the New and Emerging Plant Industries program. 

Preference will be given to projects that include matching funds from industry and align with the objectives outlined in the New and Emerging Plant Industries Three-Year RD&E Plan (2015–2018).

R&D Plan

The New and Emerging Plant Industries Three-Year RD&E Plan (2015–2018) outlines the research, development and extension (RD&E) objectives for new, emerging and other core funded plant industries from January 2015 until June 2018. The Plan includes Fodder Crops.

Key contacts and links

RIRDC Program Manager

Michael Beer
Ph: 02 6923 6915

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RIRDC Projects and Results

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Current projects

All of RIRDC's current fodder crops research projects appear here. Click on a project name for more information about that project.

Completed projects

All fodder crops research projects completed by RIRDC appear here. Click on a project name for more information about that project.

Completed projects
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