History of NCOGA
Soybean crops were first grown on the North Coast of NSW in 1972.
David Clark from Rural Agents in Tabulam was the first agent in the area for Northwest Vegetable Oils who were later taken over by Cargill. The first soyabean symposium was run in 1973. It was organised by David Clark & sponsored by NWVO.
The North Coast Oilseed Growers Association was formed in 1978, with Peter Carlill being the first President and a pioneeer grower. Ray Porter was an early pioneer grower and a real driving force in the early years of the industry and also President for many years. Ray was the local agent for Cargill and he also owned the first local receival depot for crushing beans in 1984.
Dr Peter Desborough a research agronimist started with the NSW DPI at the Research Station in Grafton in 1975 and had a breakthrough in weathering tolerance with the variety Manta released in 1989. The Association started running new grower meetings in 1981 to teach growers all aspects of growing beans and promote the industry. In the mid 1980's, there were up to 25,000 acres being grown on the North Coast. Sugar Cane growers were also starting to realise the benefits from growing soy in the fallow paddocks (not only for a quick cash crop but also the vast improvement in their following cane crop).
Around the late 1990's interest starting growing in higher value soy for the culinary market. In the early years of the Industry the North Coast of NSW was considered "too risky" and an unreliable area to source culinary beans from due to wet weather issues at harvest and inferior soy varieties. With new research and development, the focus of soybean breeding in Australia turned to new traits in varieties to improve weather resistance and shattering of pods, as well as higher protein and culinary traits. Better technology with harvesting equipment along with initiatives of key growers and farming systems such as raised beds or hills, also helped to improve crop security in a high rainfall environment. By the late 2000's soybean had become a lot more reliable crop on the North Coast and buyerss were starting to show alot more interest in culinary varieties from our area.