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Lucerne Australia

  "Assess optimum plant stress levels for seed production" Lucerne Trial

  Annual Field Day - Wednesday 3rd March 2021.

Keith Football Club - Breakfast from 7.30am 

The seed trial area has finished flowering with the modified watering strategies having been applied during late December and early January.  The Annual Field Day will be held on Wednesday 3rd of March from 7.30 to 10.30am Keith Football Club, Memorial Avenue, Keith SA. This will be a great opportunity to inspect the trial just prior to harvest, hear the latest results, learn about this season's water management and be updated on the current certified seed production area.

Pre-Registrations are essential due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Email: or text 0439 538 332.




Lucerne Australia Strategy and Communication Workshop

Thursday 4th February 2021. 9am to 4pm. Keith Institute, Hender Street, Keith. ALL WELCOME. Family groups and partners are encouraged to attend. Lunch and morning tea provided. 

People, planning and communication are the cornerstones of running a profitable, sustainable and resilient farm business. This workshop with Jeanette Long from Ag Consulting Co will cover developing strategy and succession plans for your business, communicating effectively as a farm team and building personal resilience to manage stress.  Registration to attend this free workshop is essential. Please RSVP to or call 0439 538 332




Lucerne Australia AGM 2020

28 Grower members and associates attended the 2020 AGM held at Henry & Rose Cafe in Keith on Wednesday 21st October.

Guest Speakers prior to the AGM were:

•    Alan Mckay/James De Barro: Seed Wasp Project Update
•    Sean Miller: Saudi Arabia - Livestock, Water and Lucerne
•    Phil Elson: Tatiara Water Allocation Plan Review Update


Lucerne under pivot irrigation in Saudi

Executive committee member Richard Prusa and new executive member Aaron Freeman 

Guest Speaker, Dr Sean Miller, with retiring Executive Committee member Bruce Connor and Chair Josh Rasheed.


Lucerne Australia release new 5-year Strategic Plan



Lucerne Australia (LA) released it's new five-year strategic plan at yesterday's Information Session for growers and industry. 

LA was formed in 2005 and is the peak body for the lucerne seed industry in Australia. The organisation aims to incoprorate all relevant sectors of the Australian lucerne seed industry and acts in the best interest of the industry.

The 2020-2025 Plan will ensure that Lucerne Australia remains well positioned to lead and enhance a sustainable Australian lucerne seed industry. The five key strategic imperatives :- Research, Communication, Membership, Representation and Sustainability, will guide LA's operation and investment as it approaches it's third decade as an organisation.

LA Chair Josh Rasheed sees the Strategic Plan as an essential part of best practice governance. "Internally it guides the Executive Committee in its management of the organisation. Externally, it communicates to our industry stakeholders who LA is and where it is going".

Each year the plan is enacted through the operations of Lucerne Australia. At yesterday's information session, industry and growers had the opportunity to hear from leading industry speakers including the latest outcomes from LA's major variety trial and an overview on new seed wasp research. Both project's are funded through AgriFutures Australia Pasture Seeds Program and are an example of grower's levies at work to benefit industry.

View the new 2020-2025 Strategic Plan here 

Lucerne Australia Information Session - 29th July 2020

   Info Session

Social distancing is the new "norm"


Trial Results presented via Zoom by Bridget Doyle, Southern Operations Manager for Kalyx.

Paul Umina (cesar) connected in via Zoom to provide an update on insecticide resistance in RLEM.

LA Variety Trial 29th July 2020 following winter cleaning in June. 

Herbage cuts will start again in full swing in August. 


Lucerne Australia held an Information Session attended by 25 members at Keith on 29th July. With the challenge of COVID-19 restrictions, several speakers and 14 members from SA & interstate (NSW, Vic and Tas) also connected in for the session via the Zoom online meeting platform.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear the latest results of the LA Variety Trial "Assess optimum plant stress levels for seed production" from Bridget Doyle (Southern Operations Manager, Kalyx) with information on the trial watering management provided by LA Executives, Simon Allen and Scott Hutchings. Paul Umina (cesar) also connected in from Victoria to provide an update on insecticide resistance in RLEM and management options plus Alan Mckay (SARDI) provided an overview of a new University of Adelaide lucerne seed wasp project that is already producing some promising results.

A big thankyou to our engaging and informative speakers and to everyone for their patience as LA entered the online meeting era for the first time.

Summary of the Year 2 Seed Results from the LA Variety Trial >  


SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday July 29th
Information Day. Keith Bowls Club - 8am sharp



Variety Trial Update - Year 2 Seed Harvest 17th March 2020


The team from Kalyx recently completed the second seed harvest of the LA Variety Trial near Keith. Stay tuned for results!


(Photo supplied by Kaylx)


Variety Trial Update - Annual Field Day 3rd March 2020


With the Variety Trial moving beyond the seedling stage and into it's second year, the annual Variety Trial Field Day on March 3rd generated great interest. Almost 50 growers and industry representatives, including members of the AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Advisory Panel, took the opportunity to inspect the plots just prior to harvest. Following the trial site vist, attendees had the opportunity to hear short presentations on the trial management this season (Simon Allen and  Scott Hutchings, LA Executive), the latest results from the herbage trial (Nic Amos, Kalyx) and an update on area sown to certified seed production (Nick Koch, Seed Services). Thankyou to our speakers and to all who contributed to making the morning a successful and informative event. 

Don't forget you can access the latest information on the soil moisture and weather at the site by the following these links:



LA Announces New EO


Dear Member,

As you are aware, Executive Officer, Jenny Aitken has stepped down from the role as she and her husband are moving from Keith. Jenny has been in the role since May 2016. I would like to thank Jenny for her efforts as EO and on behalf of the executive committee and members, wish her all the very best in her new venture.

After a rigorous interview process, LA is pleased to announce that the new Executive Officer is Katrina Copping.

Katrina has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) degree and conducted her PhD on fetal programming in cattle. She is a partner in a beef and sheep enterprise at Avenue Range.

Recently, Katrina has been the cropping trials coordinator with the Mackillop Farm Management Group and editor of their trial results booklet. Prior to this, she worked with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) as a research officer on projects across the beef, wool and pasture industries.

Katrina is active in the community as Chair of SE of SA Australian Stock Horse Branch Committee and Vice- Chair of SA Australian Stock Horse Management Counci and has previously been on the Lucindale Campdraft Committee and Herefords SA.

The LA Executive is pleased to have someone of Katrina’s capability and experience on the team and we are excited for the organisation and the industry going forward.

I urge all members to attend the annual Variety Trial Field Day on March 3rd, at the Keith Football Club to meet Katrina.

Joshua Rasheed- LA Chair


Save the Date - Tuesday 3rd March - Annual Field Day

The trial site is now in full flower, with the watering stress management being applied to the 3 bays. We will have the results of the second year of herbage cuts at the field day and hope to see as many of you there to view the crop on March 3rd. Full details to follow.


Variety Trial Update 18th December

The team from Kalyx out early to beat the heat for another herabge plot cut - they report that it's the best cut yet with some plots getting to 10Kg.

And the seed plots look great too.


Variety Trial Update 8th November


Rebekah Allen and Jessamy Bennet from Kalyx braving the cold, wet and windy conditions today to take another cut from the herbage plots in the LA Variety trial.



2019 AGM

35 Grower members and associates attended the 2019 AGM held at Henry & Rose Cafe in Keith on Tuesday 25th October.

Guest Speakers prior to the AGM were:

Aaron Freeman- Each year, LA Gold sponsor – Rabobank conducts the Rabobank Farm Manager Course. Lucerne Australia has for the past few years provided a bursary to young LA members to attend the course.
Last year, Aaron attended and he gave a summary of what the course meant to him and his business and he urged others to take up this opportunity.

Dr Katya Hogendoorn - senior researcher with expertise in ecology and evolution of bee behaviour and diversity. Katja aims to use her understanding of bee behaviour to improve management decisions for the enhancement of bee health, biodiversity, and crop pollination services. Katya explained what the pollination project has been doing and how farmers will be supplied with lists of plants to enhance the survival of native bee species.

Professor John Hamblin - Adjunct Professor Institute of Agriculture University of Western Australia.
Professor Hamblin asks if the decline in bees for pollination has been examined from the right perspective – how can we get the plants less reliant on insects and bees of pollination by selecting self-pollinating genotypes.  John gave an outline of his work which has produced some lines of self - pollinating lucerne. More to come on this project!


LA Chairman - Joshua Rasheed, Executive Member Rodney Lush and Jo Williams from S&W Seedco.


Bruce Kennewell - Seed Sevices and Justine Drew - PIRSA

Professor John Hamblin and grower member Scott Manser

Dr Katya Hogendoorn - Adelaide UNI, Executive member Guy Cunningham & Scott Groom -Adelaide UNI

First Herbage cut on the seed plots carried out September 26th 

Seed Wasp project covered by the Stock Journal.

Read the story here.

LA Info Session 24th July 2019

Almost 40 members attended the session which released the first year of data from the Variety Trial. Read full report here.

LA executives, Simon Allen and Scott Hutchings gave an overview of the trial and in particular the water management. Nic Amos from Kalyx presented the data for the seed and herbage yields.

Dr Ainsley Seago from NSW DPI outlined her research into Seed Wasp. See her presentation here.


Pasture Seeds Advisory Panel Visit - July 10th 2019

LA executive committee members hosted a visit from the AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Advisory Panel on 10th July. The panel were interested see first hand the progress of the AgriFutures Funded Variety Trial near Keith and toured the PGG Wrightson facility where they learned about the seed cleaning process. LA thanks Greg Excell, site manager at PGG for conducting the tour.




Variety Trial Update :

Another herbage cut taken on June 14th.


Jessamy Bennett and Rebekah Allen From Kalyx.



SAVE THE DATE: July 24th - Info Day - where we will present the full year results from the herbage and seed production. Keith Bowls Club - 8am sharp .

Year 1 Seed production results:Here





Variety Trial Update - Feb 2019

Great day at the Variety Trial Field Day near Keith – 27th Feb. Almost 60 people attended to see how well the crop looks. After, speakers covered more stats from the trial, water unbundling, the area sown to certified seed this year and the latest satellite technology which can make your farm more profitable. Thanks everyone for coming and a special thanks to all those who contributed to make the afternoon worthwhile.


 Aerial photos showing the difference between the trial bays reflecting the different watering regime.(The palest bay is the driest)




Change in growth from 24th December to 10th January

 If you are interested in the soil moisture levels and weather conditions at the site click on these links:


Flowering looks good and seed set is underway.


Hay Making Workshop draws great interest


Over 40 people attended the “Bale hay in 7 days with stem moisture not dew” workshop at Brecon, just south of Keith on Friday 9th November.
Representatives from Feedworks, Gazeeka, and Palmer Ag along with Scott Campbell, owner of Brecon explained how making hay can be much faster and produce better quality hay using the new system.
Special guest from Indiana, Brad Paulus explained how this system works on his farm where there is constant wet weather and only a few small windows to make hay.






Lucerne Australia Variety Trial

First Herbage cut 30.10.18



LA Variety Trial looking good

Kaylx staff, Rebekah Allen, Jessamy Bennett and Matt Reeves inspected the trial plots on Wednesday 17th October with landowner Simon Allen who reports:

Lucerne is looking fresh after recent rainfall and we have rolled the trial on the back of 6mm last Wednesday. All channel work is complete and ready for irrigation at any time once the current moisture levels drop away.






Lucerne Australia Bursary Assists Young Tatiara Farmer

Aaron Freeman from Colebatch has recently completed the Rabobank Farm Managers Program course held in the Barossa.

The week long course, designed to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of farm managers,  covered topics such as managing people through leadership, managing  time and increasing efficiencies, economic influences on business, insights into successful farming operations, essentials of financial accounts and budgeting, global trends in agriculture and business and key issues affecting agriculture.

Aaron said,   “The week was full on, but one of the most valuable things was the networking with other farmers and hearing how they manage their businesses. I was particularly pleased to be able to come away with a better understanding of the financial management side of the farm business. That was really good. I also had my eyes opened to succession planning issues and found that very interesting.”

Aaron says that he was highly impressed with the standard of the course and the expertise of the presenters who explained everything really well. “I am already recommending it to others,” he said.

Lucerne Australia (LA) subsidised one-third of the course costs to participate in the week long program. Lucerne Australia Chairman, Bruce Connor, says that the organisation is very pleased to be able to assist the next generation to benefit from such programs and LA will offer the bursaries again next year.

Aaron Freeman receiving his certificate  of completion from Roger Matthews, Rabobank’s Country Banking Regional Manager for South Australia and North West Victoria.




Media Release

22th June 2018

Lucerne Australia- Lucerne Variety Trial Assess optimum plant stress levels for seed production- is underway!

Lucerne Australia has been successful in obtaining funding from the AgriFutures Australia Pasture Seeds program for a variety trial - “Assess optimum plant stress levels for seed production”. Funding, sourced from levies paid by seed producers and contributions from the Australian Government, will be invested into the research trial and subsequent dissemination of outcomes through extension activities.

Lucerne Australia is responding to member surveys which, over the last few years, have been consistent in the request for more variety trial data. The aim of the project is to determine which new and existing lucerne varieties will optimise seed and herbage yield under a border check irrigation system with a focus on assessing how water stress impacts on seed production.

There is much data provided by industry, but this trial is designed to be an independent assessment of lucerne varieties and their performance.

The project objectives include:

           Measure herbage yield of 29 lucerne varieties

           Measure seed yield of 29 lucerne varieties

           Compare 29 varieties under modified irrigation management systems, specifically for seed yield data

           Evaluate the effect varying irrigation management will have with gross margin analysis

           Evaluate the effect of controlled water stress on seed yield over a range of seasonal conditions.

Siriver and Aurora will be used as benchmark varieties. This three year, independent trial has just been sown at the site south of Keith SA.

Chairman of Lucerne Australia, Bruce Connor, said Australian producers are sometimes reluctant to adopt new varieties and the data from this trial will give them more information on seed yield under Australian conditions and different water stress levels.

AgriFutures Australia Program Manager, Research and Innovation, Dr Melanie Bradley said the project addresses the AgriFutures™ Pasture Seeds Program research objective of improving seed production and is a valuable project that will inform grower variety choices in the future.








 Mission Statement

To be a focal point for the industry and to enhance the Australian lucerne seed industry.