Fertiliser giant to increase production in UK, NZ and other regions with new fields
The company will double its current crop production of the grassland crops in the UK, the UK and New Zealand to over 40,000 tonnes per annum from just 5,000 to 10,000, with some of the most popular products in the world including potatoes, carrots, broccoli, beetroot and tomatoes, as well as the grass and straw.
The move follows recent increases in the production of crops including peas, lentils, spinach, kale and mustard greens in the United States, and an increase in the number of Australian varieties.
Mr McGlashan said it would be the biggest ever increase in annual production in the country, while the number, number of varieties, production and prices of products from the UK would be “on par with what we see in Europe and the world”.
Mr McLachlan said the new fields would be a “goldmine” for the Australian economy, with $300m worth of goods and services expected to be generated from the increase in grassland crop production.
Australia’s grassland production rose to more than 6m tonnes last year, but that figure has dropped to around 4.8m tonnes due to the drought and the introduction of water restrictions.
In 2017-18, Australia produced about a quarter of the world’s total amount of grain.
Mr McIntyre said it was important to note that the increase was mainly a result of increased production in New Zealand, where farmers are now using more intensive farming methods and less nitrogen and phosphorus.
The grassland season will be reduced from June to September due to warmer conditions, but Mr McIntry said it should return in the winter when temperatures will be warmer.
Mr McIntyre also confirmed that he would be returning to his former position as chief executive of the Australian National Horticultural Association, where he had been a director since 2009.
Australian National Horticulturist John Coyle, who has worked closely with Mr McInty on grassland issues, said the company would be able to increase its production in several areas, but the new farms would be most impactful in the Western Australia and Queensland regions.
“It’s a great opportunity to be able grow grassland in the Australian landscape,” Mr Coyle said.
Crop growth in Australia has been slowing in recent years, partly due to water restrictions and drought, and Mr McIntay said he was confident the country would have the grasslands to feed its growing population.
Fertilizer company to increase Australian production of grasslands by up to 30 per centThe Australian Food Standards Authority said it will allow fertiliser companies to grow more of their crops on grasslands in the western part of the country where rainfall has fallen to less than one quarter of normal over the past five years.
As part of a pilot project in the Pilbara, the Australian Greens said the Federal Government would be responsible for increasing the amount of the fertiliser that can be used on the country’s grasslands.
However, Mr McIntee said it may not be possible to increase the fertilisers that are currently grown on Australian grasslands without significant restrictions on the use of the chemicals.
He said that the Government would need to consider the impact on the environment of the use and the effect on biodiversity.
Drought has also impacted on the Australian grassland industry.
Farmers have been forced to grow corn in new, high-protein fields to cope with the drought, but are now growing crops on pasture or under cover to reduce the impact of the drought on the industry.