FARMERS thinking of capitalising on good prospects for selling pasture seed in 2011 should start preparing as soon as possible.
Department of Agriculture and Food research officer Clinton Revell said demand for some cultivars was likely to outstrip supply.
“Pasture seed production in many areas has been affected by patchy growing conditions,” Dr Revell said.
“Famers experiencing a good season should consider harvesting pasture legume seed opportunistically as an alternative income stream. The best paddocks this year are likely to come from regenerating pastures that germinated early.”
Dr Revell urged interested farmers to take action immediately to prepare.
“Farmers need to identify potential seed harvesting paddocks early to arrange for paddock inspections for Certified Seed Production by AGWEST Plant Laboratories,” he said.
“There are several different certification schemes that are dependent on the pasture species and cultivar so they should discuss their options with the department’s seed certification staff.
“For newly sown pastures it would be helpful if farmers could supply bag labels or the bag itself, with an AUS/W lot-code on the side, to determine the original source of the seed.”
Dr Revell said farmers harvesting seed should also make themselves aware of any Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) on seed varieties.
“Cultivars that are protected by PBR, like serradellas and some subclovers, can only be sold off the property by agreement with the licensee,” he said.
“Paddock management strategies to enhance seed production should also be devised, addressing broadleaf weed control, potassium fertiliser applications, reduced grazing pressure during flowering, except for subclovers, and insect control, particularly for red legged earth mite and budworm.”