TIA’s Herbage Development Program
A range of new perennial grass, annual legume and perennial legume and browse plant cultivars has been bred by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) through its Herbage Development Program. The program was initiated in the early 1990s in response to the need for better adapted and more persistent species/cultivars for the changing climatic conditions in Tasmania’s low to medium (<700mm) rainfall regions.
Over the life of the program TIA/DPIPWE staff have participated in a number of international plant collecting missions including: Spain/Portugal/France (1993), Tunisia (1995), Kazakhstan (2002), Azerbaijan (2004), and France/Switzerland (2006). These missions have resulted in TIA gaining access to a broad array of wild plant germplasm. This material along with germplasm accessed from other collections around the world is used as a basis for screening and the identification of traits such as salt, acid, cold, drought or water logging tolerance.
The main focus of the program has been to assemble, identify and develop productive, drought tolerant and persistent perennial grasses and legumes, annual legumes and browse plants for sustainable agricultural use across low rainfall, temperate environments; satisfying not only national, but also international markets.
The cultivars developed through this program are available from the Tasmanian seed company TasGlobal Seeds.