New Zealand’s herbage seed industry: an overview
Rolston, M. P.; Clifford, P. T. P.; Charlton, J. F. L.; Hampton, John G.; White, J. G. H.; Wright, A. G.; Knox, D.
Herbage seed production for the period 1980-89 has averaged 20 600 metric tonnes (MT) (range 13 360-34 590). Canterbury has 82% of the total seed area. Production area (1989-90) by species are perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) 44%; white clover (Trifolium repens) 33%; tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) 6%; cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata ) 5 % . New Zealand exports seeds to over 40 countries with Australia, USA and the European Community representing major markets. Proprietary cultivars have increased in number from 5 (1980) to 62 (1989) and in volume from 0.1 to 27.0%, a trend we predict will continue, with proprietary cultivars being an estimated 60-65% of seed volume by 1995. The development of ‘Endosafe’ novel endophytes in ryegrass is expected to double seed usage in New Zealand for a decade as pasture renewal is increased from 250 000 ha to 500 000 ha per year. Opportunities and threats to the New Zealand industry, seed quality training and research are discussed.... [Show full abstract]