Perennial grasses, like other perennial plants, provide good options for natural resource management and can supply year-round feed. The ability of perennial grasses to provide fresh feed outside the dominant rainfall season in a region makes them particularly attractive. Perennial grasses may be introduced species or native, and were, at one time, dominant in areas of eastern Australia.
The Future Farm Industries CRC is working to breed or select high-performance perennial grass cultivars with greater drought tolerance. The Improved Perennial Grasses project builds upon work done by CRC Salinity and CSIRO to develop new cultivars of cocksfoot, tall fescue and phalaris. The new cultivars of these perennial grasses will be water efficient, hence able to tolerate lower rainfall and prolonged summer drought. They will complement lucerne in phase farming systems in relevant regions and will be more reliable in variable climates.
In some areas of Australia, notably the south coast and northern agricultural areas of Western Australia and northern New South Wales, tropical perennial grasses present good options. The Future Farm Industries CRC’s Productive, Persistent Tropical Grasses project will develop and commercially release new tropical grass varieties and assess the potential of existing varieties for these areas.
The EverCrop project is investigating the roles that perennials can play to address some of the current and future production and sustainability challenges in the cropping-based zones of southern Australia.
The Perennial Wheat project is crossing perennial grasses with wheat. The aim is to create a dual-purpose wheat that can be grazed for part of the year and also used as a source of harvested grain.
This website contains information about the CRC’s research into perennial plant based farming systems.
This site will remain live until 30 June 2017 but is no longer being updated or reviewed.
Further information about CRC research projects can be obtained by following links from relevant project pages or by viewing the research transfer page.
The CRC was funded for seven years (2007-2014) under the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centre program.