HAYES, Richard

Richard Hayes

Research interests

  • Perennial crops
  • Acid soil management
  • Forage species adaptation


Richard Hayes joined NSW Department of Agriculture* in 2000. He is an applied researcher with broad experience conducting field- and glasshouse-based research on a broad range of issues relating to pastures, perennial crops and soil fertility. The focus of much of his previous research has been in examining the productivity and sustainability benefits of incorporating perennial species into agricultural landscapes.

Richard currently leads Australia’s only research project in perennial grains which is testing the impacts of novel dual purpose perennial cereals on grazing sheep. This 5-year project commenced in 2018 and includes i) agronomic evaluation of perennial wheat lines, ii) an assessment of the productivity and health of sheep grazing perennial wheat, and iii) an evaluation of the impact of perennial wheat-based diets on meat quality.

Richard leads a second 5 year project examining the prospects for improving perennial forage legume adaptation in tablelands environments of south-eastern Australia through improved soil fertility. There are very few viable perennial legume species suited to these environments and species such as white clover, which are available, are inherently sensitive to drought. The soils across this region are typically highly acidic and of low fertility. Richard’s project examines the extent to which amelioration of these soil constraints will improve perennial legume persistence.

Richard is also leading an evaluation of annual forage legume species in the permanent grazing environments of south-eastern NSW under the P4Pastures project, examining ways to improve the phosphorus-use efficiency of grazed pastures. This project has identified serradella as a key species of interest and is presently examining the phenology and seed characteristics necessary to extend serradella into these new environments.

*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.


  • B. App. Sc. (Agric) – Charles Sturt University 2000
  • B. App. Sc. (Agric) (Hons) – Charles Sturt University 2004
  • M. Phil. – Charles Sturt University 2009

Current projects

  • Novel dual purpose perennial cereals for grazing
  • Extending the boundaries of legume adaptation through better soil management
  • P-efficient pasture systems

Recent publications

Journal papers

  1. Hayes RC, Ara I, Badgery WB, Culvenor RA, Haling RE, Harris CA, Li GD, Norton MR, Orgill SE, Penrose B, Smith RW (2019). Prospects for improving perennial legume persistence in mixed grazed pastures of south-eastern Australia, with particular reference to white clover. Crop and Pasture Science (in press) http://www.publish.csiro.au/CP/justaccepted/CP19063
  2. Conyers M, Orchard B, Orgill S, Oates A, Poile G, Hayes R, Hawkins P, Xu B, Jia Y, van der Rijt V, Li G (2018). Spatial variation in soil organic carbon and nitrogen at two field sites under crop and pasture rotations in southern New South Wales, Australia. Soil Research 56 (8) 780-792. https://www.publish.csiro.au/SR/SR18174
  3. Holland JE, Hayes RC, Refshauge G, Orchard BA, Poile GJ, Newell MT, Conyers MK (2018). Biomass, feed quality, mineral concentration and grain yield responses to potassium fertiliser of dual-purpose crops. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 62 (4) 476-494.https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IuGZtIeDSvcCAEMBDUhz/full
  4. Hayes RC, Wang S, Newell MT, Turner K, Larsen J, Gazza L, Anderson JA, Bell LW, Cattani DJ, Frels K, Galassi E, Morgounov AI, Revell CK, Thapa DB, Sacks EJ, Sameri M, Wade LJ, Westerbergh A, Shamanin V, Amanov A and Li GD (2018). The Performance of Early-Generation Perennial Winter Cereals at 21 Sites across Four Continents. Sustainability 10 (4): 1124. http://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/special_issues/Grain_Crops
  5. Ryan MR, Crews TE, Culman SW, DeHaan LR, Hayes RC, Jungers JM, Bakker MG (2018). Managing for multifunctionality in perennial grain crops. Bioscience68 (4) 294-304. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/68/4/294/4942086
  6. Hayes RC, Li GD, Norton MR, Culvenor RA (2018). Effects of contrasting seasonal activity on composition and persistence of mixed grass-legume pastures over 5 years in a semi-arid Australian cropping environment. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 204 (3) 228-242.
  7. Li GD, Schwenke GD, Hayes RC, Xing H, Lowrie AJ, Lowrie RJ (2018). Does 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate or N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide reduce nitrous oxide emissions from a rain-fed cropping system? Soil Research 56(3) 296-305. https://www.publish.csiro.au/SR/SR17219
  8. Holland JE, Bennett A, Newton AC, White PJ, McKenzie BM, George TS, Pakeman RJ, Bailey JS, Fornara DA, Hayes RC (2018). Liming impacts on soils, crops and biodiversity in the UK: A review. Science of the Total Environment (610-611) 316-332.
  9. Newell MT, Hayes RC (2017). An initial investigation of forage production and feed quality of perennial wheat derivatives. Crop and Pasture Science 68 (12) 1141-1148.  http://www.publish.csiro.au/CP/CP16405
  10. Hayes RC, Li GD, Sandral GA, Swan AD, Price A, Hildebrand S, Goward L, Fuller C, Peoples MB (2017). Enhancing pasture composition and persistence in mixed swards through alternative spatial configurations and improved legume performance. Crop and Pasture Science 68 (12) 1112-1130. http://www.publish.csiro.au/CP/CP16395

Fields of research

  • 070107 Farming Systems Research
  • 070302 Agronomy
  • 070305 Crop and Pasture Improvement (Selection and Breeding)
  • 070306 Crop and Pasture Nutrition

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Perennial grains
  • Soil acidity
  • Pasture species adaptation

Contact details

Email: richard.hayes@dpi.nsw.gov.au