Did you know that Australian farmers manage to produce enough food to feed 80 million people? The major commodities farmed in Australia include dairy, grains, meat, sugar, oilseeds, horticulture, cotton and wool.
Although, due to the diverse and varied climate, farmers have been able to grow a range of unconventional crops across Australia. Read on for our round-up of 5 unconventional crops you’ll find growing in Australia.
Interest in growing lavender in Australia has substantially increased in recent years. While this crop is farmed in all states, major interest has occurred in Victoria and southern New South Wales. Lavender plantings are often used for aromatherapy purposes, teas, baking, and open gardens or nurseries. These lavender farms often serve as a tourist attraction, where visitors may indulge in a lavender scone or lavender tea.
Traditionally, there are three main uses of Saffron: a cooking spice, a powerful medicinal tool or as a dye. Saffron, being an incredibly labour-intensive crop, is the most expensive crop across the globe. To extract one kilogram of Saffron, the stigmas of nearly a quarter of a million flowers need to be handpicked, then dried and bottled. Currently, Iran is the world’s biggest producer of Saffron. Sensing an opportunity to replace imported produce, Tas-Saff has managed to become Australia’s most successful saffron producer.
This plant is grown for its oil, which is used widely within the cosmetic industry. It is native to the inhospitable parts of North America, such as the Sonoran desert. However, this hardy shrub has been growing throughout south-west and central NSW. Also, due to the plant’s salt tolerance, it has been farmed in parts of WA that are impacted by salinity.
Quinoa has become well known for its superfood qualities, especially in recent years where consumers have become more health-conscious. This wellness trend has seen more, and more Australians choose to pay premiums for health foods, like the grain quinoa. Australia’s quinoa industry has continued to develop in recent years, with crops based in northern Tasmania and the WA Wheatbelt. This salt-tolerant crop does not tolerate waterlogging well, but it can thrive on limited moisture.
Ginseng is a well known medicinal herb. It has many Chinese medicinal uses. It is used to boost immunity, reduce stress and relax muscles, while also working as a nourishing stimulant. With the increasing levels of health consciousness in consumers, some Australian farmers are capitalising on growing Ginseng. While the industry is still in it’s early stages, Australia is well-positioned to capture a share of the world market, with cropping now conducted across various regions in the eastern and southern states.
The varied climatic conditions across Australia allow farmers to grow a range of unconventional crops. When it comes to managing an agricultural lifestyle and business, Global Rotomoulding has extensive experience. Our huge range of products; from water storage tanks to fertiliser tanks, help you get the job done, even if you’re investing your time in more obscure crops. Be sure to have a chat with our friendly team for more information.