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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Our research in industrial and extractive crops centres on non-food crops including poppies, pyrethrum, industrial hemp, and essential oils.

Industrial and extractive crops are important components of the Tasmanian agricultural system. For example, the majority of the world’s supply of licit poppies and pyrethrum are produced in Tasmania.

Researchers at the University of Tasmania were instrumental in the establishment of Tasmania’s pyrethrum industry in the 1980s and supported the breeding of suitable varieties. TIA continues to support the pyrethrum industry through research into disease management, crop pollination and plant physiology.

More recently, we supported the poppy industry respond to an outbreak of a new variety of systemic downy mildew and we have an ongoing research program to support the industry’s ongoing viability.

We are also supporting the state’s emerging industrial hemp industry and in 2016 commenced trials to evaluate the effectiveness of different varieties for Tasmanian conditions.

Tasmania is an ideal location to conduct this research due to favourable climatic conditions, complimentary crop rotations, and its remote location as an island state which enhances security of controlled crops.

Our research is conducted in collaboration with industry, with trials taking place on commercial farms around the state and regular interaction with growers and field staff.

Key areas of expertise

  • Extraction of high value products
  • Plant physiology and agronomy
  • Disease management

Capabilities

TIA’s Industrial and Extractive Crops team includes: