• • • Proper processing or devitalisation of imported grain non-negotiable
Wheat imports may be necessary to meet a shortfall in Australian production, but biosecurity measures must be non-negotiable according to the chairman of the NSW Durum Growers Association. Denaturalisation is a sticky topic for those importing grain.
The cost per tonne of a gamma radiation treatment to devitalise the grain, meaning it is not viable to grow, and to ensure there are no surviving disease pathogens, is said to be close to the current value of a tonne of wheat, making it cost prohibitive for those looking to bring in replacement grain.
There is also work on treating the grain with steam, which would be cheaper, but this technology is yet to be fully ratified by experts and also is not strong against pathogens. The capacity of the equipment required to devitalise grain in Australia would also be a problem.