Important facts about grains – Expanding your knowledge

Important facts about grains – Expanding your knowledge

The term ‘grain’ is such an interchangeable term, that it means different things to different people. To grain marketing experts, it is the very essence of their being, driving them to acquire knowledge for the purpose of constructing efficient marketing plans and strategies to assist farmers. For farmers, grain refers to crops that produce cash flow to support their lifestyles, and for everyday Australians who have little additional knowledge of the agricultural aspects of grain or grain marketing, we generally think about it as the key ingredient in our breakfast cereal!

With so much deviation in the general understanding of ‘grain’, we thought we would share with you some important facts about grain, to increase your understanding of the valuable commodity that takes up approximately 13 million hectares!

Here are our top 7 key grain facts!

1. What does the term grain mean?

Grain is the term used to describe edible seeds that are grown from grass and harvested for both human and animal consumption. Grain is one of the world’s most common imported and exported commodities, and is an essential element in terms of food security across the globe.

2. The 7 most common grains produced in Australia? 

Whilst there are many types and varieties of grain produced globally, in Australia, there are 7 distinctive grains that are the most common. These include; corn, wheat, rice, barley, sorghum, oats, and rye.

Corn is the grain that holds the title of the most produced across the globe, however it is not the most produced grain in Australia, with wheat being Australia’s most produced grain crop. Whilst wheat is the grain most produced here, Australia only contributes to approximately 3% of the world’s total wheat production. 

3. Wheat can essentially be grown anywhere – true or false?

It is true! Wheat can pretty much be grown anywhere, perhaps except for Antarctica. Wheat is known to be one of the most agronomically adaptable crops. Whilst wheat can grow anywhere, crops that are grown in warmer climates, tend to be of better quality than those grown in cooler temperatures. 

4. Are any countries self sufficient when it comes to grain? 

Australia exports the vast majority of its grain overseas, however not all grain-producing nations, particularly the main global producers operate on this basis. For example, China is the world’s biggest wheat and rice producer and is on track to become self-sufficient in these grain crops by 2025.

In 2020 China produced 669 million tonnes of grain, with the figure expected to rise to 692 million tonnes by 2025, meaning it could effectively stop grain exports and feed its population. Given the uncertainty on a global scale, particularly with the Russian war on the Ukraine affecting the food security of many nations, things are certainly looking favourable for China! 

5. Australia compared to the rest of the world – How much grain do we produce?

Whilst Australia is not technically a major player when it comes to world grain production or export, Australia is certainly a world leader when it comes to the production of quality grains. Australian grains are sought after worldwide due to their superior quality. They are renowned for being clean, dry, white, and food safe, which makes them an extremely popular commodity.

In terms of facts related to quantities, Australia produces between 22 to 30 million tonnes of wheat each year. The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ARBES) forecasts for the 2021-2022 season that Australia will produce a record-breaking 36.3 million tonnes of wheat.

In terms of exports, Australia contributes to 10% of global wheat exports, with this figure set to increase as our annual production continues to increase, and whilst Australian grain is grown across several states, Western Australia is the country’s biggest wheat producer.

6. The grain market – New or old?

The grain market is certainly not something new. In fact, the grain market is one of the oldest commodity markets in the world, having been established several thousand years ago, with historical estimates suggesting that grain trade markets predated civilization.

Grain was one of the first items to be produced with the aim of trading for other goods and services, and commenced when farmers who were producing grains for their own consumption, upped their production to fulfill the needs of supplying others.

7. The first grain crop

Whilst it is widely suggested that grain production may have pre-dated civilisation, the first grain crop on modern records was planted in 1777. It was planted not for trade purposes but as a hobby crop to be used for personal consumption.

The facts and the future!

So, what is the relevance of all of the important and somewhat interesting grain facts described above?

It is easy to look at these facts and dismiss them as irrelevant to the grain market as we know it today, however each fact listed above is important to the history of the grain commodity and plays a part in what the grain market has become today! 

Grainwise – The future of Grain marketing!

The team at Grainwise not only have an in-depth knowledge of the grain market, with up-to-date relevant statistics and trends forming the basis of our strategies, but we also take the time to understand the varying needs of our clients. What is the best grain marketing strategy for one of our clients, may not be relevant for another, and it is this personalised approach to grain marketing that sets us apart from our competitors.

If you are looking for local, expert grain marketing knowledge, give our friendly team a call today, and let’s discuss your grain future!

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