The aim of a five-year Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) research project now underway is to identify the genes that make canola heat tolerant. Field trials for this research were planted in New South Wales and Western Australia in 2020. The long-term objective of the research is to provide heat-tolerant germplasm to plant breeders. And your next question is, so what? Why would that be important? As climate variability emerges as one of the biggest threats to food security, heat stress had been identified as a major issue. This is also an increasing global concern, with average temperatures projected to rise in coming decades. Dr Sheng Chen, lead researcher at The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Institute of Agriculture continues. “Plant breeders may then incorporate this germplasm into new commercial varieties, and help the industry maintain productivity as mean temperatures rise.” “Canola is particularly sensitive to high temperature stress. [...]
With population growth and increasing concerns for food insecurity, we must find more crops to decrease these concerns. Amaranth was previously eaten by the Aztecs and Native Americans. However, after the Spanish colonization, the seed decreased in popularity. However, some countries such as India and Bolivia still consume the seed. Amaranth is an ancient pseudocereal that is gluten-free. There are around 60 species of amaranth that have been cultivated for over 8000 years. The seed is very high in fibre, protein, antioxidants and also contains a range of important micronutrients. It is a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Countries such as China have been researching the seed for approximately 30 years. China has expanded its amaranth production, harvesting 800,000 tonnes in 2017, with future plans to increase production to 60 million tonnes. Amaranth could also be a super crop, providing high-value animal feeds at a low cost. [...]
Will you be gobbling roast turkey this Christmas? The Australian turkey industry produces around 5 million turkey every year. This provides roughly $200 million per year to the Australian economy. Finding turkey raised in Western Australia is a difficult during the Christmas period. Turkeys are usually sourced from the Eastern States. In NSW there are two large farms and three smaller farms in Victoria during the Christmas period turkeys. Turkey production has recently been shocked by a bird flu outbreak in Victoria in late July this year. This has lead to the euthanasia of over 400 000 poultry chickens, turkeys, and emus. That included 4,000 turkeys which have been put down. Is it time to ditch the turkey in favour of more Australian dishes for Christmas celebration? Should we be having Western Australian seafood instead, supporting local industry? Leave your comments below Source: https://loom.ly/6-s4wIM https://loom.ly/gKgys-g
Usually, catch quotas for the rock lobster are determined 4 years prior to to the fishing season. This is completed by measuring puerulus settlement (juvenile stage of development). Out of this catch, up to 95% of the rock lobsters caught in WA are exported to China. In January this year, exports were halted due to the COVID-19 virus. Since February, the industry has slowly increased exports. However, the prices remain low and continue to affect the valuable Australian fishery. Photo: ABC News: Robert Koenig-Luck The low prices for lobster have dramatically impacted Australian fishers. The low price of lobster has increased stress for fishermen as now they must catch more stock to deliver the same returns. To deal with the stressors of COVID-19, the Australian Government has revised the regulations for fisheries and commercial fishing licenses. Yesterday, news broke that seafood lovers could soon be enjoying $20 crayfish after the [...]
Food Producer Jessie Davis is back to tell you about her day in sheep farming. FYCT learnt so many things today about farming that we didn't know! Have a question for Jessie? Please leave it in the comments below.
The Western Australian oat industry delivers around $200 million to the state's economy every year. WA produces around 600 000 tonnes of oaten grain per year! The WA oat industry is small compared to other grain industries. Typically, 25% of the WA oat crop is kept on the farm for animal feed and a further 25% is usually used within the domestic feed trade. However, there is a growing export demand for WA oat products. WA oats are known to be one of the highest quality in the world and they successfully meet the requirements for both animal and human consumption. This has increased the popularity of WA oats with international market buyers, such as Japan, which are focussed on the quality of oats. Quality milling oats are exported directly from WA as either grain or processed oats. The major markets of the Australian oat industry include China, Mexico, India, [...]
Wheat is the major grain that is produced in WA which contributes $2-3 billion to the state's economy. WA generates approximately 50% of Australia’s total wheat production which is mainly exported to Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The national wheat exports account for 3% of Australia’s total export revenue. Although Australia is a relatively small producer of wheat, it accounts for 15-18% of the world’s total export making it a major participant in the export market. Despite WA producing the majority of Australia’s wheat, approximately 90% of the wheat produced in WA is exported. WA produces white-grained varieties that generate a bright white flour with a high flour milling yield. In addition to this, there are only a few large scale flour milling companies in WA: Allied Mills (Dingo Flour), Millers foods (Byford Flour Mill), MAURIanz, and Eden Valley Biodynamic Farm. Please reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your food [...]
In Western Australia, there are only 78 potato growers. But did you know that WA still gets fresh potatoes year-round! The potato industry is the second-highest value vegetable crop per year at $54 million. WA has 4 main potato growing regions: Busselton/Marybrook Northern Region (Dandaragan, Lancelin, Gingin, and Baldivis) Manjimup/Pemberton Myalup Despite the year-round production of potatoes, the number of potatoes that are actually processed (into crisps and french fries) in WA is far less. The majority of potatoes grown in WA (that are made into crisps and fries) are actually sent over east to be processed into crisps and fries and then sent back to us! WA used to process two main products: French fries and potato crisps. In the past 30 years, some major processing operations have closed, including the closure of Smith's crisps. Due to this closure, WA no longer produces potato crisps. However, WA Chip, owned [...]
Majuru is the coldest and wettest season of the year. This is the season of fertility and runs from June to July. It is characterised by the onset of strong westerly winds. Makuru also sees the flowering of the Sheoak tree (as shown in this picture). During Makuru, the Nyoongar/Noongar people altered their diets from marine foods to grazing animals such as kangaroo. Tune in next week to learn about the fifth season, Djilba!
For those wanting a taste in agriculture but not wanting to drive long hours, the suburb of Lesmurdie, Western Australia, is the perfect place to pick your own produce. S&R Orchard is located just outside of Lesmurdie and is a family-friendly orchard. The orchard is involved in various events such as blossom festivals and "pick-your-own-fruit" events. From the 7-20th of September 2020, the orchard's Blossom Festival will be open. Make sure to book your tickets online to guarantee entry! While you are in the suburb of Lesmurdie, you should also visit Lesmurdie Falls and the Kalamunda Farmer's Market (held on Sundays).