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TAS Country : January 13th 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012 Tasmanian Country 3 News SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS: Tasmania boasts perfect growing conditions to produce high-grade lavender oil. Lavender's rich harvest Chance to meet oil needs ROGER HANSON TASMANIA is poised to take advan- tage of lavender woes in France. There is a worldwide shortage in high-quality lavender oil, and Tasmanian-grown lavender is well placed to step into the breach. Essential Oils of Tasmania research field agronomist Sam Smee said Tasmania offered the right mix of conditions to produce high-grade lavender oil. ''Lavender requires a cold winter to set the flowers, followed by a warm, sunny summer to allow for maximum oil accumulation,'' Mr Smee said. ''Tasmania's climate is ideal for pro- duction of high-quality lavender oil.'' Essential Oils is holding a lavender field day at its trial plot at Montfort at Hamilton on Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm. ''We want to generate some interest with landowners in growing lavender as a commercial crop for oil pro- duction,'' Mr Smee said. ''Lavender can tolerate fairly poor, stony soil, and can often be grown on the under-utilised hill slopes common in Tasmania. ''Growers can potentially get a good return for what has traditionally been marginal land for agriculture.'' France's ability to produce high- quality lavender oil for a range of perfumes and toiletries has suffered some recent setbacks. ''In part due to climate change in the traditional growing regions of France, but also the recent emergence of a To Page 4 Daisies push up market ROGER HANSON FROM humble beginnings Tas- mania's production of the natural insecticide, pyrethrum, has grown at a phenomenal rate to the point where we now produce 60-70 per cent of the world's crop. Now, as Australia's only pro- ducer, Botanical Resources Aust- ralia is expanding into Victoria. It manages more than 3000ha of pyrethrum in Tasmania's North- West. For the second year, it is also harvesting in Ballarat and investing in its Ulverstone pro- cessing facility to prepare for higher yields. Pyrethrum daisies are native to the Dalmatian coast and are found in Croatia and Yugoslavia. Inside the seeds of the flowers are pyrethrins which are highly effective as a natural insecticide. Botanical Resources Australia manager of agricultural busines- ses Tim Groom said that, once extracted, pyrethrins were an es- sential product in many brands of insect sprays. ''For a lot of companies, py- rethrum is a very good product because it's environmentally friendly, it's very safe because it's non-toxic to people and animals, and it breaks down in sunlight,'' he said. The market for pyrethrum is growing. Since 2005, the pro- duction of pyrethrum has tripled and plans to keep it expanding are in the pipeline. Stephen Dick, from the Growers Association, says it is a huge relief for farmers after last year's floods wiped out half the crop. ''This year is looking excep- tional,'' he said. BEST PRICES EVER ON SELECTED POLARIS ATVs AND RANGERS. ENDS FEB 29TH OR WHILE STOCKS LAST. 1300 654 142 www.polarisindustries.com.au
January 5th 2012
January 26th 2012