Better legumes = increased role in modern dairy pastures

Through the Dairy Futures CRC’s Designer legumes program, researchers are enhancing the performance of white clover so it is more resilient and productive and regains it’s significance in perennial dairy pastures.

“As the cost of fertiliser inputs rise, the pivotal role of pasture legumes, such as white clover, will become increasingly apparent as a source of high-quality fodder and a source of nitrogen. Through innovative gene technology we are reinvigorating white clover to improve it’s production and environmental and seasonal resilience.”

Professor John Foster
Research leader

Designer legumes — program aims

Through the Designer legumes program, Dairy Futures CRC researchers are focussing on:

  • Improving white clover dry matter yield, summer persistence and seed production.
  • Enhancing disease resistance, aluminium tolerance and phosphorus acquisition efficiency in white clover.
  • Increasing the bloat safety of white clover by boosting the concentration of condensed tannins .

Collaborative approach

The Designer legumes program capitalises on existing relationships between geneticists, molecular plant breeders and commercial plant breeders and agronomists to deliver innovative pasture options for Australia’s dairy farmers. Organisations that are involved in this program include:

Heritage Seeds

Program contact

Professor John Forster
Research leader