Tropical Grasslands (1997) Volume 31, 320–324

The role of genetic resources in developing improved pastures in the humid zone of northern Australia


Department of Primary Industries, Gympie, Queensland, Australia


The value of introduced tropical forages to the grazing industries of the Australian tropical and subtropical humid zones is discussed. Pasture legumes which were released in the early years of improved pasture development often failed to persist, mostly due to overstocking which, in turn, was influenced by factors such as low beef prices, adverse seasons and inadequate maintenance fertiliser. There is a continuing need for cultivar development to meet changes in requirement and to overcome deficiencies identified in existing cultivars.
The historical development of perennial Arachis as a forage in Queensland is briefly reviewed to illustrate research pathways, and suggestions made for the further development of this genus. It is concluded that there is a continuing need for a tropical forage genetic resource to service the needs of Australian industries in the humid zone, and that reliance on genetic resource centres overseas is not a viable option.

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