Safflower a ‘New’ crop now becomes a viable alternative
As a crop, Safflowers have not been grown on any wide scale for nearly 20 years due to a lack of consistent marketing options. GO Resources in conjunction with CSIRO has now developed a high-grade specialty Safflower oil for the industrial market which will see the re-introduction of this crop on a renewed scale. Last year was the first commercial year of this crop with just under 2,000 ha’s grown from Goondiwindi in the Sth Queensland to the Western Districts in Victoria. GO Resources is now looking for a constant increase in growth for this crop with an eventual target of 100,000ha’s over the coming years.
Delta Ag are the exclusive farm gate supply chain partner for the development and management of the Super High Oleic Safflower market. What does this mean? Delta Ag are responsible for all aspects of the development and contractual components of the crop from Sth Queensland through to Sth Victoria. If you would like to enquire about growing Safflower please contact your local Delta Ag branch.
As a specialty oil, the crop will be grown under a closed loop marketing system, whereby all grain is contracted back to GO Resources. A key benefit of the SHO Safflowers is that this is a known fixed price at the start of the season and does not alter throughout the year. It removes price fluctuations that normally occur through the year for most winter grain crops. Consistent with this commitment in 2020 GO Resources are offering to growers a contract price of $650/tonne at the ‘farm gate’. This is the same contract price offered in 2019, despite the fluctuations in prices of many other crops.
The opportunity for this crop is focused in the initial phase on the medium to low rainfall regions. It is noted for its higher level of drought tolerance compared to other crops. It also has an advantage on some of the difficult clay soils where canola has not performed. 2018/19 was a tough season for everyone given the drought conditions that persisted throughout the year. Despite difficult cropping seasons, Safflower growers recorded strong average yields from their crops, demonstrating the resilience of safflower in a difficult year. It was pleasing to see that despite the below expectation yields due to the drought, the oil content of the majority of SHO Safflower crops ranged between 33% - 37% an outstanding result.
The following links will take you to stories in recent GRDC Ground Cover magazines of farmer’s experiences growing SHO Safflower in 2019 and SHO safflowers potential on sodic soils.
Despite recent difficult seasons, we are confident that SHO Safflower can become part of farmers dryland and irrigated crop rotations throughout South East Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss the benefit and potential of this crop further. Contact your local Delta Ag Advisor or call:
David Hudson - GO Resources
Mick Parry – Delta Ag