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Wheat set to take off on the Tablelands

A successful trial of the Buchanan wheat variety has the potential to open up a myriad of domestic and international opportunities on the Tablelands.

A SUCCESSFUL trial of the Buchanan variety of wheat in Tolga has members of the agricultural industry on the Tablelands optimistic about the abundance of local production and export opportunities that could occur as a result.

The Atherton Tablelands hasn’t traditionally been a wheat-growing region, however TGT Tolga saw a chance to capitalise on what they felt was a gap in the market in northern Queensland.

TGT Tolga’s Senior Agronomist Mark Norvall said given the troubles areas like the Western Downs are currently experiencing with drought, a chance to produce locally without the expensive cost of freight attached was of great interest.

“The Atherton Tablelands has a great climate for this variety of wheat (Buchanan),” Mr Norvall said.

“I have a lot of experience growing wheat from my time farming in Zimbabwe, and the conditions were very comparable to here – so I was always confident we could achieve a significant yield.”

Despite Mr Norvall’s confidence surrounding the wheat trial, the yield was still able to exceed expectations.

“We were expecting a yield in excess of two tonnes of wheat,” he said.

“However we eclipsed that figure and were able to yield more than three tonnes which is fantastic.

“Those results are reassurance to us that there is ample opportunity here on the Tablelands for wheat.

“We will now be looking in the near future to grow more and hopefully out of that we’ll be able to open up both domestic and international export markets.

“There are Asian countries which are very interested in our wheat industry and we will be looking to realise that potential.”

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