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
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.