Cropping

Giving exports an advantage

By Country News

Improved fodder quality, productivity and reduced production risk will be the key objectives of a new $2.2million AgriFutures oaten hay agronomy project announced last week.

The largest investment to date in the AgriFutures export fodder program, the project will harness leading edge technologies to develop competitive advantage in export fodder markets.

In 2015 Australia exported more than 936320 metric tonnes of fodder, with an estimated value of $383million, with Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan key export markets for Australian fodder.

AgriFutures Australia research and innovation project manager John Smith said the new four-year project would address knowledge gaps in Australian export fodder agronomy and pathology.

‘‘It’s a significant project that will focus on hay variety responses to changes in sowing date and nutrition on hay quality, disease impact, management intervention, and how these factors impact on return,’’ Mr Smith said.

‘‘The project will work across all Australian producing areas, offering variety-specific management information which will enable producers to increase productivity, improve fodder quality and reduce production risk.’’

Trials will be conducted in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Western Australia, with grower groups in key hay growing regions to tackle regionally specific issues affecting export fodder production.

The oaten hay agronomy project will be delivered in partnership with the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Agriculture Victoria and NSW DPI.