Argentinian farmers visit Horsham

A DELEGATION of Argentinian farmers kicked off an Australian legume growing fact-finding trip with a visit to Grains Innovation Park in Horsham yesterday.

Pulse Australia's Wayne Hawthorne and Department of Primary Industries seed specialists showed the six farmers from the Cordoba region the grain handling and research facility.

Using one farmer as a translator, the seed specialists described to the overseas visitors the variety of pulses grown in the Wimmera, while discussing legume prices and disease management.

Today the farmers will travel to St Arnaud, stopping off at farms and grain-handling centres along the way, before flying to Toowoomba, Queensland, for further fact finding the following day.

Argentinian chickpea farming company partner Andres Braun said the inspiration behind the trip was to investigate ways Argentinian farmers could become bigger players in world legume markets.

"We want to catch up to industry leaders such as Australia and Canada," he said.

Mr Braun said the Argentinian pulse market was growing.

"Our government has put an export ban on wheat so we grow and export a lot of chickpeas," he said.

"We want to learn from Australians about how increased production of different legumes affects prices in export markets."

Mr Hawthorne said foreign farmers and seed specialists often visited the region to investigate Wimmera cropping techniques.

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