I read in astonishment the article in recent edition of the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times that the DEPI and Dairy Australia are going to or already have initiated the allocation of $5.4 million – of which is a large portion of levies funded by dairy farmers – into the research of the best perennial ryegrass cultivars to suit agricultural enterprises across Victoria.
The article also states “that many producers lack the resources and knowledge required to select the best cultivars”.
Well, what an insult! Every producer would know that a pasture-based system is the key driver to productivity.
Every producer would have a telephone.
Every producer would be able to read, and most would have access to a computer.
Plant breeders in all the major seed companies for decades have been developing the best genetics in ryegrasses in New Zealand, Tasmania and Victoria.
Every company, proprietary company, already has several cultivars that are regarded as benchmarks, but they too will be outclassed by newer varieties in the years ahead through constant trialling, at their expense.
My association with one particular company has over 60 different trial sites throughout southern NSW and Victoria.
Surely the allocation of this massive financial resource could be redirected into a beneficial program that is not already ongoing.
Many within the seed industry, as I am, are appalled and insulted by the nature of such a project.
Stephen Dunn, independent seed specialist, Leongatha (Dip Ag/farm business management).