Seed and Nutritional Technology Development

Tackling climate change and mitigating the impact of droughts are among the benefits sought by a PGP programme developing innovative forages for New Zealand farms.

field of leafy crops
Improving pasture health through technology.

This PGP programme is led by PGG Wrightson Seeds and Grasslanz Technology. It consists of 4 projects designed to develop a suite of innovations that improve productivity and animal health, while mitigating adverse environmental impacts.

The challenge

Future farming systems require forages that can meet the nutritional requirements of high-performing animals. They also require technologies that can mitigate the environmental impacts often associated with highly productive farming systems.

The solution

This programme is developing technologies to improve pasture performance, reduce the impact of pests and diseases, overcome animal health disorders and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and losses from drought stress.

Farmers can expect technologies that provide improved productivity and profitability across all New Zealand regions and farming systems where pasture renewal occurs.

Outcome Model

Outcomes to date

  • Our elite perennial ryegrass selections with AR501 endophyte have improved bioactivity against insect pests and excellent agronomic performance, outperforming more than 100 other entries across 8 locations in New Zealand. This will improve pasture production and productivity and reduce the need for chemical pesticides. The optimal method for progressing this to a commercial product has been determined and is underway.
  • The effect of PGP-endophytes on facial eczema spore counts have been assessed under field conditions, demonstrating at least a 30% reduction in P. chartarum spore counts under severe infection conditions over the past 2 years. Further work is required prior to a commercial product being developed, but the results are encouraging that this will be a tool to help reduce the impacts, severity, and costs associated with facial eczema.
  • Pallaton raphanobrassica is now fully commercial. It has demonstrated improved water-use efficiency (+38%), aphid tolerance (+32%), clubroot resistance (100%), lower glucosinolate levels (-80%), excellent seed yield and improved agronomic performance (+14% DM yield) compared to Goliath rape across a range of regional sites. Furthermore, our cattle grazing trial resulted in ~30% higher liveweight gain per hectare without any increase in brassica associated liver disease. Initial on-farm studies have also shown strong improvements in lamb-finishing systems with more than $2,000 per hectare profitability gains compared with forage rape and grass pasture. Approximately 4,500 hectares of Pallaton has been sown across New Zealand in 2017/18 and dry matter yield and liveweight gains to date have been very encouraging.
  • More than 3,000 hectares of Firefly kale are currently being grown on-farm in New Zealand. Reports on performance to date have been excellent with demonstrated improvements in yield compared to other products.

Audit

Assurance on Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Partnership use of funding [PDF, 511 KB]

Key facts

Programme start: February 2013 
Length: 6 years 
PGP funding: $7.15 million 
Industry funding: $7.48 million
Crown funding paid out to programme for work done to 31 August 2017: $5,129,527
Commercial partners: PGG Wrightson Seeds Ltd, Grasslanz Technology Ltd
Estimated potential economic benefits to NZ: $200 million per year by 2025.

Progress review reports

Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Progress review report - May 2015

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Report

Quarterly Progress Report Summaries

January – March 2018 – Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

October - December 2017 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2017 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

April - June 2017 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

January - March 2017 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

October - December 2016 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2016 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

April - June 2016 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

January - March 2016 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

October - December 2015 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2015 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

April - June 2015 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

January - March 2015 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

October - December 2014 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2014 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

April - June 2014 - Seed and Nutritional Technology Development Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary
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