Pulse Australia Grain Delivery Standards webinar Sept 2021
This webinar was held on 1 Sept 2021. Presentation files are now available to download:
- Pulse quality and delivery standards (Pulse Australia)
- Pulse quality science (Dr Jenny Wood)
- Grain sampling procedures (Dale Reeves)
Pulse Australia, in conjunction with North-West LLS, Shepherd Grain and NSW DPI, held a webinar to give growers and advisors the latest information about grain delivery standards. Pulse Australia organises an industry representative committee for reviewing and updating the standards annually, ensuring they meet market contractual requirements, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment export requirements and importing country quarantine requirements.
The delivery standards are important for maintaining our grain quality that gives Australia the advantage for premium prices and preference over competitors in our export and domestic markets. Customers know they are buying a safe, clean product, free from contaminants that meets their expectations. The delivery standards relate directly to market access and to the high regard our produce is held by global traders.
This is particularly important for the high value pulses (chickpeas, faba beans, lentils and mung beans) that are used for human consumption as these are often used directly off the header with very little processing.
In 2016 for example with a record crop of 2 million tonnes of chickpeas, 5-10% downgrades with disease contaminants (CHKP→CHKM) have cost the grower ≥$25M. Deliveries were mainly rejected due to high levels of disease contaminants affecting many of the crops from central Queensland to northern NSW. Similarly in Victorian and SA lentil crops in 2016 (≥800k tonnes), 50% was affected by vetch and tare weed seed contaminants from poor weed control. These deliveries needed cleaning ($10/tonne) with total cost to the growers of ≥$4M. Late delivery of grain due to the extra time in cleaning may also affect the contract price.
Growers need to have an understanding that many operations done to produce the crop have a direct influence on quality and this relates directly to the prices they will receive in the market. Farmers know that for high returns for bread wheat the protein levels need to be high (12-14%) and their varietal selection and nutrient management is important.
Growers know the agronomic benefits of pulse crops as a break crop for diseases, weeds and pests, and increasing soil nitrogen, but including marketing information in crop choice gives a better understanding how pulses fit into the farming business system. Many markets for pulses have quite specific requirements or preferences that may not well understood by growers. Faba beans for example will have a premium price when used for human consumption, but the end product needs to be large, even sized and light coloured for the Egyptian market.
If it doesn’t fit into these specifications then it will be used for stock feed at a lower price. These characteristics are hugely influenced by the varietal selection in the first place, the nutrient and disease management during the season and the way it is stored prior to delivery into the market.
Growers who have a clear understanding of the delivery standards and the underlying market requirements will be more informed to be able to take their produce to market with confidence that it can earn top prices. The webinar will cover the delivery standards for a range of pulse crops (presented by Pulse Australia), the standard sampling procedures carried out by grain receivers (presented by Shepherd Grain) and there will be the opportunity to have questions answered from NSW DPI grain quality experts online.