15 Jul 2013

Researchers to get quicker access to seed bank

8:57 am on 15 July 2013

Farmers are predicted to eventually see the benefits of a new agreement between the Government and its research institute AgResearch, that enables researchers to have faster, less expensive access to the national seed bank.

Regulation changes will mean imported seeds of new pasture cultivars such as ryegrass and fescues will not need a post-entry growth period in a quarantine glasshouse.

Researchers analyse the cultivars looking for traits, such as pest resistance or certain climatic qualities, that could help New Zealand farmers.

AgResearch Margot Ford Forage Seed Bank manager Zane Webber says the new rules will allow researchers, then farmers, to get access to new technology more quickly.

He says until now it has been difficult to deliver seed in a timely and cost effective way to researchers, but the new system will allow the seed bank to distribute seed to researchers straight away, with a fungicide test.

Mr Webber says researchers will be responsible for notifying the Ministry of Primary Industries if they notice anything is amiss.