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Crop tariff shocks CQ farmers, but they see silver lining

Darren Jensen's rain gauge was full this week.
Darren Jensen's rain gauge was full this week. Vanessa Jarrett

WHILE some may think a 30per cent tariff on Australia chickpeas would be bad news, Biloela farmer Darren Jensen is looking at the news with some positivity.

Prime buyer, India, has imposed a 30 per cent tariff on Australian chickpeas, to be effective immediately.

"Luckily a lot of us have sold our crops already," Mr Jensen said.

"There will be a positive to it, it might stop people from growing it again for rotational reasons.

"I've talked to a couple of blokes who weren't sure if they would plant again this year and now they definitely aren't."

It is common knowledge in the agricultural news chickpeas should be planted on a rotational basis.

It is recommended to allow a couple of years between chickpea crops in the same paddock to minimise the risk of ascochyta blight and root lesion nematode problems.

However, the threat of disease doesn't stop some farmers from planting them year in and out - much to Mr Jensen's frustrations.

"Everybody is aware of it, some people are just greedy enough they will just do it again," Mr Jensen said.

"There is no excuse for it."

Mr Jensen wasn't planning on growing chickpeas this season as he had harvested some recently,

"I have all my country in summer crop, I wasn't going to grow any chickpeas so we will see what happens," he said.

However the introduction of the tariff will influence his decision to plant the crop in the future.

"For sure, I have always grown a few chickpeas but 30 per cent is a fair whack," Mr Jensen said.

"If it is already a lower price in the market, you have to take that into consideration as well.

Tariffs have been frequenting the agricultural news lately as a 50 per cent tariff was introduced on field peas last month and wheat faces a 20 per cent tariff as well.

"India is hard to deal with at the best of times, so we will just have to see if this sticks," Mr Jensen said.

To start off the season on a good note, Mr Jensen also received a late Christmas present earlier this week.

A combined total of 116mm fell on his Mount Murchinson property on Sunday and Monday.

"Couldn't have asked for better rain," he said.

Topics:  chickpeas india legumes summer crops


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