Tasmania is a major producer of certified white clover seed production crops. The climate and environmental conditions in Southern Australia are perfect for growing clover, with Tasmania's irrigation scheme and relative pest and disease-free status favoring the reliable production of pasture seed crops. There is potential to increase the growing area in Tasmania and southern-Australia to meet an increasing local and export demand for certified white clover seed. Unfortunately, white clover seed yields in southern-Australia have stagnated over the past 15-years, and growers are reluctant to grow white clover seed production crops due to the current low yields and low profitability compared to other commodities.
This project will investigate ways to increase the yield and profitability of certified white clover seed production crops in Tasmania and southern-Australia. Working with the national seed production industry, particularly the Tasmanian Seed Industry Group, we hope to understand the current crop management 'best-practices' and the reasons behind grower reluctance to grow white clover seed production crops. Considerable research has already been conducted on agronomic management practices in other major white clover seed-producing countries (primarily New Zealand). This existing literature will be reviewed, with selected 'international best-practices' tested in the Tasmanian environment. Results and outcomes of this project will be shared within the national certified white clover seed industry to inform and educate southern white clover seed producers, agronomists, and allied researchers.