PASTURES & SOILS

Pasture seed industry delivers $3 billion value

INDUSTRY research has valued the Australian pasture seed industry at $3 billion per annum.

Staff writer
 The Australian pasture seed industry has been valued at almost $3 billion.

The Australian pasture seed industry has been valued at almost $3 billion.

Research conducted by the Australian Seed Federation (ASF) has shown seed companies supply almost 45,000 tonnes of pasture seed per year, valued at several billion dollars.

Osman Mewett, chief executive officer of the ASF, the peak national association for Australia's seed for sowing sector said: "Australian seed companies supply 40,000 to 45,000 tonnes of pasture seed annually to livestock industries (dairy, beef, sheep meat and wool).

"In terms of farm gate value-creation, this annually sown pasture seed delivers a total of $2.98 billion or eight per cent of the $35.3 billion farm gate value from the major livestock industries each year," Mewett said.

"The value-add of this seed highlights its critical contribution to the red meat, dairy and wool industries in Australia."

The research was conducted to better understand the size and value of the Australian pasture seed industry, and to raise awareness of its contribution to Australian agriculture's goal of becoming a $100 billion industry by 2030.

Mewett said the volume of annual pasture seed sales creates a further $5 billion of downstream value in the processing, logistics and retail sales of beef, sheep meat and milk.

While sown pastures will also require fertiliser, agricultural chemical, machinery and labour inputs (all providing additional multiplier input effects), the farm gate production of the pasture seed sown annually delivers:

  • 1 billion litres or 11 per cent of Australia's milk production
  • 260Kt or 11 per cent of Australia's beef production
  • 147Kt or 12 per cent of Australia's sheep meat production; and
  • 59.6Kt or 21 per cent of Australia's wool production

The ASF says pasture breeding has consistently delivered 0.5 to 1.0 per cent per annum increase in forage yields, plus improvements in forage quality, pest and disease resistance.

"In the past five-years the use of improved proprietary seed has increased from 61 per cent to 68 per cent. This highlights the recognition by livestock producers and their advisors of the extra value they can receive from planting innovative and improved varieties," Mewett concluded.

For the past 2020/21 financial year, 41,500 tonnes of pasture seed sales resulted in some 2.4 million hectares of pastures and forage crops being sown.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the farming sector, brought to you by the Farming Ahead team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the farming sector, brought to you by the Farming Ahead team.

editions

Research Report: Carbon Calculators (June 2024)

Farming Ahead's June Research Report compares two carbon calculators which can be used by grain growers.

editions

Research Report: High Horsepower Tractors (May 2024)

Kondinin Group has rounded up some real broadacre muscle in this Research Report - looking at 447kW (600hp)-plus tractors.

editions

Research Report: Sheds (April 2024)

Sheds play a vital role in farming, offering shelter and protection for people, machinery, livestock and valuable inputs like chemicals and fertiliser.

editions

Research Report: Self-Propelled Sprayers (March 2024)

In this month’s Research Report, the Kondinin Group research team of Mark Saunders, Ben White and Josh Giumelli present the results of the latest round of self-propelled sprayer testing. The team traversed several states to round up six of the latest sprayers, which can cost upwards of $1 million each.