Saturday, October 12, 2013

Opium Poppy Production Coming to the NT

This past dry season the NT has had a couple of small crops of opium poppy grown.

Yes, legally.

Opium poppy production is quite a large industry in Tasmania, but therapeutic demand has outstripped production, and they are looking at geographically diverse areas to grow more.

Some companies have been investigating production in Victoria, but one of the major companies has grown trial areas in the NT.

And they have done well.  So well, that up to 500ha is planned for next year, with potential for significant area increase after that.

Yes - the NT has seen crops come and go before, often before they increase in area even to be successful.  But this has some reasonable promise.  Strong demand for an industrial, not food  product into a market that seems to continue to grow modestly.  The company wants to diversify geographically, but I am sure the NT will get the "extra" areas needed with the bulk of ptoducyon still in Tasmania.

Legal issues need to be addressed, but id does look promising.

More here - with some audio also available.

As an agronomist, it is great to see another possible crop showing local potential.  With rice and guar also being revived it seems a throw back to the 1970s, when crop production seemed to offer much potential - will we see a few other possibles again? Mung bean, more peanuts, and probably a few more.

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