First stage agronomic research for sub tropical chicory production
The performance of chicory in a subtropical environment has been assessed by staff of the Queensland Horticulture Institute, Department of Primary Industries for Belgium firm Orafti. Orafti are investigating the feasibility of establishing a major chicory processing industry in the Bundaberg-Childers-Maryborough region. The project was jointly funded by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and Orafti and evaluated the performance of chicory in rotation with sugar cane in the Bundaberg region. The project assessed three different methods of irrigation and investigated the financial impact of growing chicory in rotation with sugar cane. This project proved to be a good test of the ability of chicory to perform under the abnormal seasonal conditions experienced during land preparation and through the crop cycle. The trials showed that acceptable yields can be achieved despite above average temperatures for much of the year, below average rainfall and a number of storms which impacted the early stages of the trial. The project has provided useful information that will assist Orafti to define their requirements for successful chicory production in the Bundaberg, Childers, Maryborough area. The information from this project will also help in their investigations to decide whether or not to establish a $250 million chicory processing plant near Childers.