Friday, January 3, 2014

Australian Premium Wheat makes great noodles

Wheat harvesting in progress

Western Australian wheat ready for harvest

A bumper harvest of Australian Premium Wheat grown near Northam in Western Australia produces great yields. Have you ever wondered where the flour in the Asian noodles at the local IGA or supermarket comes from? I was fortunate to visit with Matthew, my son and an Agricultural Scientist, one of the most productive Western Australian wheat farms near Northam averaging 2.5 tonnes of wheat grain per hectare over an area of approximately 1500 hectares. Wheat is the main cash crop, but Ray, the owner of the property, also grows canola and lupins each year. We were lucky to visit during a bumper harvest with some paddocks yielding 5 tonnes of wheat grain per hectare!

The grain of high protein content is stored in nearby silos, and then exported to Indonesia, Vietnam, and other northern neighbours depending on market price, to be used in the creation of Udon and Two Minute Noodles. Lower quality grain is sold as seed for future crops or as bread wheat.

It was very interesting to ride in the harvester with Ray, and then witness the transfer of the grain from the harvester to the chaser bin that then takes the grain to the silo. Thanks to Matthew and Ray, I drove away feeling very proud of our wheat industry and the passion, knowledge and dedication of the farmer. I learnt a lot and was impressed by the amount of scientific data available to Ray from the cabin computer in the harvester as he worked.

Transfer of wheat from the harvester to the chaser bin

So dear readers, do we take the wheat industry too much for granted and forget that our breads and pastas are also a result of a highly technical and sustainable industry?

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