Autumn saw a new pasture sowing season begin in Tasmania’s agricultural regions and seed retailers have been working with growers to ensure the best results.
PGG Wrightson Seeds southern regional sales manager David Squibb said most Tasmanian pastures were sown during April.
Combinations of tall fescue, phalaris, cocksfoot and soft clover have been popular in dryer areas, while farmers with higher rainfall or those located in high irrigated areas have chosen ryegrass and red and white clover, he said.
“We ensure the right plant is suited to the right pasture. We’re available to talk with farmers to work out what they might be needing,” Mr Squibb said.
“Some of the other things [farmers are now planting] are grain types to harvest later, such as forage cereals or oats because they provide good feed over winter, or forage brassica or turnips,” he said.
Many farmers are also planning ahead for winter.
“Following on from a wet spring with a large amount of hay, a lot of people are starting to feel the pinch from the dry summer so they are starting to look at options. At the same time they know we’re going to get smaller showers and cooler weather so it’s an opportunity to sow,” Mr Squibb said.
Coinciding with the autumn sowing season, the Australian Seed Federation has relaunched its ‘Know Before You Sow’ campaign, encouraging its members to appreciate, value and protect the quality and authenticity of seed.
Growers and retailers have been urged to source seed through reputable suppliers that provide certified seed and germination and purity tests, federation chief executive Bill Fuller said.
“Seed is fundamental to agriculture and represents a significant investment,” Mr Fuller said.
“We encourage growers and retailers to utilise the online resources of the ASF to inform themselves and get the best outcome in the paddock or for their clients,” he said.
The campaign’s key messages are:
- Know your seed, know your future
- The cost of seed is minor relative to the cost of poor establishment, wrong variety and introduced weeds - why risk it?
- There is only one way to really know before you sow - The ASF Smart from the Start checklist.
The federation’s Smart from the Start checklist is a step by step reference point providing information and guidance on seed species, variety and the availability of Statement of Seed Analysis.
Find out more about the ‘Know Before You Sow’ campaign and download the checklist at www.asf.asn.au