Friday, September 30, 2022

Business & Farming

Fifth quarter

Beef hides and livers – the secret ingredients in new skincare and supplement products

A new, eco-friendly range of collagen products made using traditionally low-value bovine inputs such as hides and livers will soon deliver benefits across the entire beef value chain. This world-first Certified Organic collagen skincare and supplements range is the highly anticipated result of a collaboration between MLA and Freeze Dry Industries (FDI), a manufacturer based on the Sunshine Coast.

Clarence River

More marina berths as boat sales boom

Rodney Stevens. Booming boat sales and above 90 per cent occupancy has Yamba Marina looking to expand its berths from 95 to 145, enhancing the Clarence River’s reputation as a premier boating destination. Yamba Marina owners Peter Sutton and Kay Cottee said they are looking towards their biggest expansion since they took over the marina.

Innovation

Build it and they will come: freshwater anglers to reap rewards of fish habitat trial: FRDC

Log cabins and synthetic trees are part of a successful trial of fish-attracting structures in Queensland which could be just the boon freshwater fishers have been angling for ... the dam stretches over 500 hectares and the hunting ground was too spread out, the fish too hard to find.

Collaborative farming

Innovative ‘co-farming’ model earns northern NSW farmer prestigious business award: Rabobank

Years of drought in northern New South Wales led Gunnedah region’s Sam Conway to establish an innovative ‘co-farming’ business model to reduce production risk for small to mid-sized broadacre farmers ... The Co-Farm model revolves around small to mid-sized “passive” landholders contributing their land into a joint venture, where operating expenses and profits are shared on a percentage basis.

Animal welfare

Striving for zero welfare incidents: ALRTA

The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has acknowledged the recent tabling in the Australian Senate of animal welfare incident reports occurring at export abattoirs in 2020 and 2021. Chair of the ALRTA National Driver and Animal Welfare Committee, Graeme Hoare, said that the association welcomes the very high compliance rate but will continue working to eliminate welfare incidents entirely.

Survey

Have you had your say? Ag landholder survey on transmission infrastructure open: The Energy Charter

As Australia moves towards a renewable energy future, a growing number of agricultural landholders are being approached to host electricity transmission infrastructure on their land. The Energy Charter is collaborating with the ag sector and transmission businesses to co-design practical guidelines for co-existence between transmission infrastructure and agriculture.

Sunday trade

Sunny side of trade for Maclean businesses

Emma Pritchard. The Maclean business community would like to extend an invitation to Clarence Valley residents and tourists in the region, “come and visit us on Sunday!” Known for its proud Scottish heritage, riverside views and rural charm, the township of Maclean is looking to add another attractive feature to its resume as an idyllic Sunday shopping destination.

Farm labour shortage

Award wage rates are no benchmark

If you are wondering why there is a labour shortage across the Western Australia wheatbelt then check out some of the jobs on offer across the state and what they are paying ... I’m going to try to make the case that we need to lift what we pay but also ensure we offer a safe interesting experience so we can grow the pool of working holiday markets that will consider working on grains farms.

Interview

Q&A with OBE Organic MD, Dalene Wray

After the release of OBE Organic's Sustainability Report 2022 earlier this year, Australian Rural & Regional News found out a little more about what's involved in farming organic beef in the vast Channel Country and how it came to be Australia's oldest organic beef company from OBE Organic's Managing Director, Dalene Wray.

Bees

National honey bee genetics program rolls on

Plan Bee, Australia’s national honey bee genetic improvement program has had its hives at Tocal Agricultural College euthanised as part of the all-of-industry response to the 2022 varroa mite incursion. Prior to the hive euthanasia, selected highest value queen bees were removed securely and re-homed to ensure these genetics are banked for future breeding and research.  

Biosecurity

Beekeepers called on to ramp up self-surveillance: Saunders

State-wide surveillance will be strengthened to ensure NSW beekeepers have greater flexibility to continue their operations, through a new Varroa Mite Emergency Order ... Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said changes to the Emergency Order will increase the surveillance registered beekeepers are required to conduct each year.

Sports tourism

On a roll – the club’s grand opening

Like a shining beacon of fun and entertainment, the new cluBarham bowling facility lit up the night sky at the official opening on Friday, September 16. Members, invited guests and bowling dignitaries made up the 170 strong crowd in attendance ... What unfolded was a team of local trades and services that shared a common goal of building a facility that can attract regional, state and even national competition.

Community markets

End of era for markets

Denmark Arts’ 40-year run of seasonal markets in Berridge Park is over. Instead, Denmark Arts hopes to collaborate with other market-holders to support them in a new model different to the traditional markets. These have been held over summer and at Easter, and over the decades have built Denmark’s reputation as a market town.

Tourism

Canola Trail blooms new partnership

... the 2022 Canola Trail experience - a self-drive immersive experience filled with good food, exciting experiences, and incredible views ... The 2022 Canola Trail flowering season was launched at a media brunch held at the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory on Saturday.

Tourism

The Treasure Trove @ Gingin is more than just an op shop

“The Treasure Trove has always aimed to sell beautiful, clean, affordable clothes and household items that are ‘preloved’ rather than tired and obviously second hand. We must have done something right because apart from our lovely regular locals, we have customers visiting from Perth and are now on the op shop tourist holiday trail": Ann Callen, Gingin Community Op Shop secretary.

Community market

Twilight Dinner and a new Twilight Market

The Maldon Twilight Dinner 2023 is set to be bigger and better than before with the possible addition of a Friday Night Market. The committee is awaiting council approval to include a free Twilight Market to showcase local street traders, food trucks, produce stalls, bands, and swing and belly dancers.

Biosecurity

Ag Speak – Helping vineyards get ‘appy

Kristin Murdock. Biosecurity is a buzzword in the agricultural industry, now more than ever with the recent threat of foot and mouth disease and an infestation of varroa mite affecting bees in New South Wales. Vineyards are just as vulnerable to risks and with that in mind, Willo Brown from Oparina Wines in Padthaway has put his university IT skills to good use creating an app called myVineyard.

SE farmers unite to protect against FMD and Lumpy Disease

Chris Oldfield. Red biosecurity signage will soon mushroom on many farm entrances across the SE, along with wash down facilities for visitors – vets, various contractors, shearers, trucks and stock agents. Even friends and relatives visiting farming families will be required to fill out details about where they have been, and where they will go next.

Biosecurity

NSW fast-tracks mRNA FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease vaccines: Toole, Saunders

The NSW Government has taken another step towards fast tracking the world first mRNA vaccines for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Lumpy Skin Disease, inking a deal with US biotechnology company Tiba Biotech ... “I have now written to vaccine manufacturers to take up my challenge to develop both vaccines ready for use and manufacture in NSW by August 1 next year": Deputy Premier, Paul Toole.

Pest

Fall armyworm meets its match in ginger industry: AgriFutures

It’s been nearly two years since fall armyworm was first detected in Australia, and in that time the pest has made its presence felt. With the ability to travel vast distances of up to 100 kilometres overnight, and an appetite for summer crops, the fall armyworm can devour large quantities of crops – including ginger – in a matter of days. 

Biosecurity

Q fever findings a timely post-pandemic reminder for biosecurity vigilance: AgriFutures

After more than six years of multi-disciplinary research, the Q Fever Group ... has released the findings of its flagship research project, Taking the Q (query) out of Q fever. The project findings fell into three broad themes; improving knowledge and management of Q fever in dairy goat herds; understanding Q fever in the environment; and structures to support Q fever management across the human, animal and environmental health sectors.

Disease

Bat Lyssavirus on Darling Downs

Darling Downs residents are being warned not to “wing it” when it comes to sick or injured bats after a confirmed case of Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) in Kingsthorpe. The injured bat was found in a back yard in August with residents alerting appropriate authorities.

Tourism

Koala Festival brings in the crowds

Overcast skies and cold dismal weather did not deter the public from celebrating Narrandera’s free-ranging koalas at the inaugural Koala Festival on Saturday. The indoor/outdoor event was held at the Narrandera Showground with families arriving en mass to participate in the festivities, all of which were free, courtesy of a NSW Government grant. Almost 1000 festival-goers attended the event.

Small business

Inaugural Australian Rural Business Awards highlights the best regional small businesses

Sarah Brits and Jenn Donovan. Exceptional small businesses are being recognised via the Australian Rural Business Awards, a newly-established awards system created exclusively for rural and regional small businesses. Powered by online bush marketplace Spend With Us, the awards shine a much-needed spotlight on the incredible retailers based in the country. 

Sugar

Sugar mill steams ahead with long-awaited $12m grant

After six months of silence, steam from the sugar mill chimneys punches into a clear sky before quietly dissolving into the blue. It is a welcome and familiar sight for residents of the small riverside village. Finally, cane is being crushed again and its back to work at Sunshine Sugar in Broadwater.

Weather

Third wet summer would be ‘devastating’ says farmer: NSW Farmers

Farmers and regional communities are bracing for yet another soaking with the Bureau of Meteorology confirming another summer of La Nina ... “People are trying to rebuild and get back on top of things, but another huge rain would just be devastating for us”: Northern Rivers farmer Neil Baker.

Research

AgriFutures Australia Research and Innovation Strategic Plan 2022-2027

There is no better time than now. Australian agriculture is primed and ready to take on the next five years with a strong sense of purpose, determination, and excitement for the possibilities that lie ahead.

Survey

Mounting input costs and FMD fears put pressure on Australian farm sector confidence: Rabobank

Rising input costs combined with fears of a foot and mouth disease incursion have weighed heavily on optimism in Australia’s farm sector in the latest quarter, according to the Rabobank Rural Confidence survey. Despite extraordinary strength in farm balance sheets and the overall health of the sector following more than two years of high rainfall and exceptional commodity prices, more farmers now believe conditions are set to worsen over the year ahead rather than improve.

Opinion

Subsidising fertiliser is not smart

Some older farmers will remember the Australian superphosphate bounty of $12/tonne that was on offer between 1964 to 1974. Some might have even been at this Perth rally when farmers roughed up Gough Whitlam after he said he was pulling the plug on the bounty ... more hard policy decisions should have been made to cut tariffs and industry support right across Australia to put an end to the endless drip of governments ...

EqTech

Wife nags tech-head husband and the horse world wins

It's marvellous what can happen when a horse-loving wife of a tech-head husband asks him to help her with keeping her equestrian records straight ... The software and app Andy Ide developed is called “HorseRecords” and it is already being used across multiple disciplines in the horse industry.

Exports

Farming exports forecast to reach record $70.3 billion: ABARES

Exceptional growing conditions and high global prices are continuing to benefit Australian agricultural production and exports. The ABARES September quarter Agricultural Commodities Report is forecasting agricultural export earnings to climb to a record $70.3 billion for 2022-23 – almost 50% more than what it was 10 years ago after accounting for inflation.

Ukraine

Ukrainian vegetable market: the worst is ahead

In the summer, Ukrainian farmers adapted to work in wartime. However, Ukrainians will have to forget about fruits and vegetables in winter ... With the onset of winter, many Ukrainians will stop buying vegetables. Farmers won't be able to grow it. The reason is the lack of gas or the high cost of gas.

FMD

Ag Speak – Experts encourage FMD vigilance

Kristin Murdock. While foot and mouth disease (FMD) remains active in Indonesia, officials there say they hope to bring the outbreak under control by the end of the year thanks to a rollout of vaccinations. The country’s FMD Task Force spokesperson, Professor Wiku Adisasmito, said there had been more than 450,000 cases of FMD confirmed or suspected across 22 of the country’s 37 provinces.

Farmers urged to join the fight against FMD: Saunders

Farmers are being encouraged to participate in the NSW Government’s largest ever pest management campaign to minimise the risk of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) spreading through feral animal populations if an incursion was to occur. Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the NSW Government’s Spring Offensive program will not only reduce the risk of FMD spreading across the country, it will also play a critical role in protecting primary producers’ top-quality food and fibre.

Dairy

Rabobank Global Dairy Quarterly Q3 2022: Potential collision ahead?

Global dairy market fundamentals have shifted course in Q3 2022, from extreme tightness to visible but modest loosening. A potential collision between supply growth and demand is approaching, with Q4 year-on-year milk supply growth, weak Chinese import demand, and broader demand rationing in developing countries weighing on forecasts, according to the latest international dairy market report from Rabobank.

Energy

Tourist hot spot to become fully renewable

Phillip Island’s bold vision to become Victoria’s first fully sustainable tourist hot spot in Australia is one step closer, with plans approved for a revolutionary community energy storage system. The Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System (PICESS) will offer greater reliability in electricity supply for the Island, especially during peak holiday periods and could potentially slash power bills, with residents able to use the grid to store their power.

Red meat

Positive news for cattle producers as herd rebuild strengthens

Low female slaughter and positive bull sale results point towards strengthening of the herd rebuild according to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) ... The trends point towards a strengthening of the herd rebuild as female retention on farm rises in line with increased offerings and clearance rates of bulls purchased by producers to join the retained females.

Indigenous

Long-term Fortescue mine contract allows Pilbara Aboriginal firm to dream big

Tom Zaunmayr, National Indigenous Times (NIT). A Pilbara Aboriginal firm has lauded a long-term Fortescue Metals Group contract which it says will lead to training for Traditional Owners and one day help build a standalone mining services company.

Red meat

TFGA announces the AgCard: Managing livestock for Red Meat Production unit

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA), through the Tasmanian Red Meat Industry Steering Committee (TRMISC), proudly announces the launch of the AgCard Managing Livestock for Red Meat Production certificate unit in collaboration with the Tasmanian Government and Primary Employers Tasmania (PET). This certificate is funded through the $1 million Tasmanian Government commitment to support the development of the red meat industry.

Gold

Mixed results from Talgai Goldfield

Gold drilling efforts earlier in the year at the Talgai Goldfield have produced some promising signs of future potential, but not all that was hoped for. The inaugural drilling campaign was undertaken by Canadian company Queensland Gold Hills Corporation at the Big Hill property in the historic Talgai Goldfield.

Ag school

Yanco Ag High School proud to celebrate centenary

Yanco Agricultural High School celebrated its centenary and family day at the college grounds last weekend ... Our speciality in developing students with a focus on agriculture, with students having the opportunity to work as an integral part of the school's sheep, cattle and show stock teams, as well as our equine program, is what makes us most proud": Principal Marni Milne.

Education

Shock school study reveals need for farm lessons: NSW Farmers

An Australian university has discovered four in five primary school students have no idea how modern milk is produced. The survey of more than 5000 Australian primary and secondary students found many had outdated ideas about where food came from, with the majority thinking cows were still milked by hand.

Opinion

WA regional high schools failing ATAR students

With the state's year 12s soon to start their mock exams, I thought it opportune to go back and have a look at how our country high schools are performing. Some may recall an article I wrote in 2020, ‘Country High Schools = F Fail’ and I wondered if there has been any improvement.