Pastures: future directions

There is now widespread acceptance of ley or rotation pastures in farming systems. The National Annual Pasture Legume Improvement Program (NAPLIP), supported by growers through the GRDC, develops pasture options for agricultural producers.

Established in 1997, the NAPLIP concept can already claim a measure of success. Since that time eight new pasture varieties have been selected for commercial use. The program has an annual budget of $5.47 million, of which $1.69 million is provided by the growers through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Woolmark Company.

The NAPLIP brief is to identify and develop new pasture legume varieties for existing and emerging farming systems and new cultivars that overcome deficiencies in already widely planted species like sub-clover and medics.

Ideally the new legumes and cultivars will also be easier to harvest for seed, reducing farmers' costs and harvest problems. NAPLIP maintains its relevance to the producers through direct consultation on priority producer needs facilitated through the Industry Linkage Group (ILG).