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Ongoing project

Next-gen pyrethrum production (PY23001)

Key research provider: Botanical Resources Australia

What is it all about?

This program is dedicated to maintaining the profitability and reliability of pyrethrum for growers and ensuring the Australian industry can consistently supply the international market.


In the Australian temperate climate, pyrethrum flowers in late spring to early summer and are ready to harvest in January.  Crops are currently sown in spring.  There is an unusually long growth cycle with a 15-month interval between sowing and first harvest in the crop’s second summer.  Pyrethrum is a perennial crop, and 30-40 per cent of sites go on to a second or third harvest in subsequent years. 

The long crop cycle is a disincentive to many farmers as returns need to cover opportunity costs for two growing seasons.  In addition, there is a lack of predictability in input costs and returns over the extended vegetative period.  The long crop cycle also provides a wide window for weeds and disease inoculum to build up.


There is an opportunity to reduce the time to first harvest to 12 months through plant breeding, precision planting to optimise yield, seed treatments for rapid and even crop establishment, and weed control methods to reduce weed competition and crop herbicide damage.


The development of a short-cycle crop is expected to increase predictability and grower profit by reducing growing costs and weed and disease pressure. A short-cycle model also encourages the expansion of the cropping area for Australian pyrethrum to new growing regions.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Pyrethrum Fund