The development of Tropical Forages: An Interactive Selection Tool, and its release in 2005 as a CD ROM, involved a collaborative project effort between CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, the Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries (Qld), Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). During the previous 50 years, forage research had identified many useful tropical grasses and legumes. Although information on their adaptation and use resided in peer-reviewed literature and local research reports, in many cases, the most important source was often in the memories of experienced forage agronomists in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, sub-tropical USA, Central and South America, South and South-east Asia and Australia.
While “Tropical Forages” was initially available in four languages, had well over one million unique visitors since its launch, and around 15,000 visitors a month, its data had not been seriously updated since the initial launch over 12 years previously. Consequently, given its continuing use, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research provided funds for “Tropical Forages” to be updated and for it to be published both as a Lucid Mobile app as well as updating the online tool.
Visit the current Tropical Forages selection tool website here.