Pulses are grain legumes produced for human consumption and include lentil, faba bean, field pea, chickpea and lupin. Pulses are an essential dietary component for millions of people around the world due to their high protein and nutritional content.
Australia’s diverse agro-climatic zones produce a wide array of high quality pulse grains. Australian grain producers are some of the most advanced adopters of technology and crop management globally, using these tools to grow highly nutritional pulses for human consumption. Stringent production and processing standards ensure the production of quality, safe and clean, food-grade pulses.
Australia produces an average of 2.2 million metric tonnes (mmt) of pulses from more than 1.8 million hectares. Research and development shows there is potential to increase plantings to 4.2 million hectares. Western Australia, New South Wales and South Australia regularly produce the largest quantity of pulses in Australia.
Nationally, pulses average just under 10 per cent of the total area planted to crop. In favourable production areas they can occupy as much as 25% of the total crop area. Pulses are grown in crop rotations, with cereals and oilseeds, given their ability to fix nitrogen into the soil and their contribution to sustainable and profitable farming practices.
Pulse production in Australia includes:
- Australian white lupin (30-40%)
- Chickpea (20-35%)
- Field pea (10-15%)
- Lentil (10-15%)
- Faba and broad bean (10-15%)
- Mung bean (<5%)
Australian farmers, supported by pulse agronomists, use the most advanced technology and equipment to produce pulses of the highest quality. Favourable growing environments, good crop management and care in handling and processing ensure quality pulse products for consumers.
Australia exports a substantial volume of pulses each year, proving favourable over competitors because of consistent, high quality commodity production.
A large proportion of the Australia pulse crop is exported to international markets, with the majority of exported grain used for human consumption.
Top photo: GRDC