Queensland researchers have developed Australia’s guide for storing pulses and managing pests to support the state’s rapidly expanding chickpea and pulses industry.
The guide contains three years of research and collaboration by scientists from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries with producers and industry partners – involving extensive field trials and laboratory testing and a review of published information.
The guide would help growers maximise profitability and further strengthen Queensland’s reputation for supplying premium quality, pest-free pulses, minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said.
“We made a commitment to invest one million to fill the knowledge gaps in pulse storage, and this new guide delivers on that commitment,” he said. “The investment is part of our vision for Queensland to be a world-leading provider of high quality, safe and sustainably produced food and fibre.”
Maintaining the highest quality and the best prices relies heavily on how pulses are stored after harvest. Most pulses grown in Australia are exported, earning almost two billion annually, with Queensland’s chickpeas and mung beans valued at around $264 million from 2020 to 2021.
Chickpeas and mung beans are essential food for millions of people globally, and Australia is known for having among the highest standards in the world for pulse exports.
“This is a great example of government and industry working together… to help ensure the pulse industry continues to export top quality produce to customers worldwide,” PB Agrifoods owner and managing director Peter Brodie said.
AgForce is a big supporter and promoter of the growth in pulse production, AgForce Grains board president Brendan Taylor said.
“Queensland’s grain producers are well placed to capitalise on these opportunities, and this guide supports them to best store their harvest and grow our industry further,” Taylor said.
Agriculture is an essential industry in Queensland and a vital part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, Furner said.
“The new guide will be a key reference manual for pulse growers, exporters and other stakeholders, with a wealth of information about hygiene, aeration and fumigation for the storage of pulses,” he said. “This project is a fulfilled election commitment that will have ongoing financial benefits for the industry for years to come.”
The Pulse Storage Best Management Practice Guide is available at www.daf.qld.gov.au.