The AgriFutures Australia 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 Australia 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 per cent 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.


The program is funded by statutory levies paid by industry participants. This levy revenue is matched by AgriFutures Australia at up to 0.5 per cent of GVP.

RD&E plan

The Pasture Seeds Five-Year R&D Plan 2013-2018 has five main objectives:

  • industry communication and capacity building
  • improved seed production and processing technologies
  • environmentally sustainable seed production systems
  • monitor, evaluate and adopt emerging sciences and technologies
  • develop new pasture seed products, markets and farm systems

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


Dr Melanie Bradley
Program Manager, Research & Innovation
02 6923 6913
0407 987 738

Lucerne Australia
Australian Seed Federation
Pasture Improvement Initiative

Related Publications


Agronomic Support Manual for Lucerne Seed Production


Survey of lucerne (Medicago sativa) root damage and pathogen occurrence in lucerne roots and soils collected from south-east South Australia


Improved seed production of Lotus tenuis for a global market


A review of golden dodder control options in the United States

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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