De-risking, commercial validation and value maximisation of Plantago in the Ord River Irrigation Area

  • 36 pages

  • Published: 30 Jun 2023

  • Author(s): Rowan Clark

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-391-5

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Plantago, Plantago ovata, is a source of psyllium, a form of dietary fibre. This research has developed a viable plan for the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) to become a global supplier of quality psyllium husk and by-products, estimated to be worth $5-50 million. This would include Plantago growing and processing, husk export, planting seed production and by-product marketing, creating local skilled and semi-skilled jobs and economic benefits beyond the farm gate in northern Western Australia.

Commercial-scale production of P. ovata is possible in the ORIA and can largely be managed using the pest scouting methods and other production templates developed in this project. Further, this research has shown both the grass weed selective herbicides Verdict® and Clethodim® are effective and safe for use alone and mixed with paraquat in P. ovata. Seed processing residue was identified as a possible animal feed with high protein content and moderate metabolisable energy. This report thus provides potential growers, processors and Plantago research funders with the necessary tools to reduce their production and investment risk.