Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Pastures
GROUND COVER PASTURES 26 PASTURES AUSTRALIA IS a new program developed through a partnership between the GRDC, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Ltd, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Dairy Australia (DA), the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC). Pastures play a vital role in the production of meat, wool, grains, milk and fodder, and it is this generic nature of pastures that provides an opportunity for coordinated effort by the five investment corporations. The potential scope for program investment includes pasture agronomy and management, pasture improvement for all species and better adoption of practices and products. What is the purpose of the program? The purpose of the program is to invest in pastures to maximise their value on-farm. Value will be measured as increased profitability and sustainability from farm- ing systems. Pastures Australia will be successful when producers have the varieties, tools and information to choose and manage the best pastures for their farming enterprises. To achieve this goal, Pastures Australia will: n provide good quality management information and advice to help farmers extract the most value from pastures in their systems; n provide a strategic approach to investment that is both market-led (applied research) and research- driven (basic research); n provide a forum to facilitate an integrated industry approach to pasture improvement and pasture man- agement, both technical and commercial; n improve information flows (commercial and techni- cal) and facilitate improvement in pasture genetic information and management relevant to the needs of different regions; n improve the performance of existing capability (public and private) without ‘controlling’ the mar- ketplace; n not attempt to undertake activities best done by commercial entities; and n continually monitor and measure actual and poten- tial benefits to farmers arising from the program. The most prominent change introduced in the Pastures Australia model is a mechanism to facilitate connection between all stakeholders and industry sectors. This will improve the gathering of market, agronomic and techni- cal intelligence across the industry to better inform the investment process. How are researchers, industry, and farmers involved in the planning process? An independent market analysis for pastures has been prepared by Mike Gout from Productive Pastures Pty Ltd and Steve Jones from Aglign Pty Ltd. The market analysis is intended as a ‘work-in-progress’ to be tested in workshops with farmers, researchers and other stake- holders in the pasture industry. The first workshop included about 40 participants from research agencies, seed suppliers and rural research and development corporations, and was held in Adelaide on 23–24 February 2006. The objectives of the workshop were: n to update research and industry stakeholders on the Pastures Australia concept under development by rural R&D corporations; n to seek advice, identify gaps in planning and define critical drivers required to deliver maximum benefits to farming enterprises and industry stakeholders; n to develop clear industry priorities and refinements to the supply-chain investment model; and n to involve stakeholders in the business planning process leading up to the first round of investments in July 2006. Following the national workshop with research- ers and industry representatives, a series of regional workshops for farmers and advisers was run in Perth, Adelaide, Hamilton, Wagga Wagga and Toowoomba. The purpose of these workshops was to fine-tune the market analysis and to ask farmers and advisers for their input and advice on where Pastures Australia should invest to maximise the value of pastures in farming systems. The ultimate outcome sought is to use pastures to improve profitability and sustainability within farm- ing systems. What are the next steps and when will the program commence? Results from the workshops were used to complete the market analysis and develop a strategic investment plan for Pastures Australia. The Pastures Australia program will be rolled out with new investments contracted from July 2006 to January 2007. INVESTING IN THE FUTURE Pastures Australia: investing in the future FIVE RESEARCH INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS HAVE COME TOGETHER TO ENHANCE THE VITAL ROLE THAT PASTURES PLAY IN THE PRODUCTION OF MEAT, WOOL, GRAINS, MILK AND FODDER. GREG BENDER 'The ultimate outcome sought is to use pastures to improve profitability and sustainability within farming systems'
GC Supplement - Growers sharing knowledge
GC Supplement - Subsoil constraints