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Author Topic: poppies in bloom in Australia  (Read 3357 times)

Offline clinton (OP)

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poppies in bloom in Australia
« on: November 12, 2015, 08:52:17 PM »

http://m.theage.com.au/victoria/legal-opium-poppies-blooming-across-victoria-20151111-gkvzjp.html



Secret poppy crops trialled in Victoria
Legal opium poppies are blooming across Victoria, with farmers embracing the crop in growing numbers in just its second year of commercial production in the state.

Potato farmers from near Ballarat, and canola, wheat and barley growers from the north and west of the state are among those growing legal opium poppies in their paddocks this year.


Harvest will commence soon near Boort, in northern Victoria, of poppies grown under contract for the Australian company TPI Enterprises. Harvest of crops in southern Victoria destined for TPI's new Melbourne processing plant is expected to start late January.

According to figures from the Victorian department of economic development, about 70 farmers are licensed to grow opium poppies this year, on either a commercial scale or for research. The number of licensed growers is up on last year.

The plants, whose scientific name is Papaver somniferum​, are being grown commercially to produce narcotic raw material, which is used to make legal pharmaceutical painkillers. There are also legal opium poppies being grown in research plots covering about 13 hectares.


Legal opium poppies growing near Hamilton, Victoria. Photo: Supplied
Narcotic raw material is used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products like morphine, oxycodone​, codeine and naloxone​.

Beyond the pharmaceutical side of the industry, poppy seeds from the plants end up in the culinary market, where they are used in foods such as breads and muffins.

TPI's managing director/CEO Jarrod Ritchie said about 60 Victorian farmers were contracted to grow legal opium poppies for TPI this year.

The amount of ground sown to poppies was "up significantly on last year," he said.

"We are increasing area in all six regions that we grow in, and we'll be expanding again next year," he said.

Mr Ritchie described poppies growing near Hamilton in the state's west and Boort in the north for TPI as "cracking poppy crops". These crops had performed very well in "two very different regions", he said.


Legal opium poppies growing near Boort, in northern Victoria. Photo: Supplied
Asked how this year's TPI crop in Victoria had performed, he said: "You do get a mixed bag across the state. We've had some erratic weather, flash-flooding in the north-west has been recorded recently. And then we've had some dry (conditions) in the western districts."

Mr Ritchie said the growing season weather conditions reinforced the need to diversify planting locations. "Victoria has got great opportunity to spread that agricultural risk ... it just enables us to really diversify, so if we do get a negative weather event in any one region, we can make up for it in the other areas," he said.

Mr Ritchie said Victoria was ideally suited to growing legal opium poppies.  "I see Victoria becoming the main growing region in Australia over the next five-to-seven years," he said.

The biggest growing region in Australia now for legal opium poppies is Tasmania.

Peter Tuohey, president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, said poppies represented "a good opportunity for another crop" for the state's farmers. "It will suit quite a number of areas. It will be a good addition to quite a few farmers in different parts of the state," he said.

 
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Offline clinton (OP)

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Re: poppies in bloom in Australia
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 08:54:22 PM »
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 08:56:44 PM by clinton »
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Re: poppies in bloom in Australia
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 08:57:59 PM »
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Offline Reezy

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Re: poppies in bloom in Australia
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 11:50:21 PM »
I think I could deal with only owning that skinny strip of poppys in the first pic  :P 8) ;D
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