Peas get green for go

TASMANIAN Simplot pea growers are relieved after they struck a deal for a 25 per cent price increase for the coming season. The deal has been welcomed by farmers battling rising input costs. The increase will amount to a 25 per cent increase from last season. This equates to $591.21 per tonne based on a tenderometer (TR) of 120.

Cressy farmer and TFGA Simplot Pea Committec Chairman Will Green said the price increase was a huge relief to farmers. “With escalating inputs costs and a few key crops still in price negotiations it is great for farmers to have a bit of certainty to enable us to plan for the season ahead,” Mr Green said.

“This year they want as much product as they can get too so we’re starting to look at what we’re doing and how we can increase our yields to make the most of the price increase. “The average has been around 7.3 tonnes/ha last year, if we can even get that up to 8 tonne the difference will be significant to farmers.”

Tasmanian vegetable growers produce about 24,000 tonnes of green peas from about 4,000 hectares for processing with an estimated farm gate value of $10 million. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that Tasmania accounts for about 95 per cent of the country’s green peas for processing.

There have been plans announced to increase the processing capacity of peas at the Simplot factory from 26 tonnes per hour to 34 tonnes per hour with new freezers. The majority of produce frozen is sold domestically.