Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Business & Farming

Innovation

GreaseBoss innovation goes for gold in world cup series

GreaseBoss, an Australian start-up founded in 2020 on the Sunshine Coast, is going for gold in the global award program dubbed the Innovation World Cup Series ... Three mining industry engineers launched the company after developing a novel system to automate the lubrication of heavy equipment and avoid the costly hassle of breakdowns.

Forestry - NSW

Community invited to review updated forest management plans

Community members are invited to review and provide feedback on updated forest management plans for the softwood plantations and coastal hardwood forests managed by Forestry Corporation of NSW.

Beef

A record number of cattle on feed to start 2022

The early supply chain disruptions of 2022, including COVID-19 and floods, have not impacted the continued growth and strength of Australia’s feedlot sector, according to the recent results of the ALFA and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) survey.

Property

Investors snap up cheaper flood-hit homes in Woodburn

Houses in Woodburn are selling for 30% less since the floods. Flood damaged homes are on the market but most listings don’t show the asking price ... It is a sensitive time with some residents deciding to sell and leave the area. Some simply can’t face another flood.

Energy

Geothermal: Is this the right renewable for our region?

West Australian energy company Geogen is seeking a geothermal energy extraction site in the area around Casino, Kyogle, Bonalbo and Mallanganee. Geogen chief executive Adam refused to let me publish his surname. He claimed geothermal was the “greenest energy source we can use”.

Community

Shared vision

cluBarham has finalised a 5-year strategic overview ... The 5-year strategic vision aim is to directly contribute to local population and tourism growth that will enhance the economic benefit to the community. ... “The main vision of it is really to focus on population growth and community support" : cluBarham CEO, Jason Wallace.

Land management

Landmark partnership to enhance conservation across six million hectares of private land

Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and North Australian Pastoral Company (NAPCo) are proud to announce a landmark partnership that will include an additional six million hectares to conservation land management in Australia. The historic new relationship will see the two organisations working together to influence positive, measurable outcomes for biodiversity across NAPCo’s six-million-hectare estate.

Wine

Australian wineries and vineyards moving ahead in the transition to net zero emissions and to tackle climate change

Sustainable Winegrowing Australia has released its inaugural Impact Report detailing the wide range of sustainable practices being successfully implemented by vineyards and wineries across Australia. The report outlines the program’s first national data set and the significant steps being taken towards net zero emissions for the sector, with 100% of members measuring and reporting their scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions.

Research

The effects of biochar feed supplementation on GHG emissions and cattle liveweight gain: is it worthwhile?

Nicoli Barnes, UTas. It has been suggested that biochar improves animal health and liveweight gain. It has also been suggested that biochar reduces enteric methane and, by increasing carbon content in the manure, may improve soil carbon over time. Together these effects would theoretically reduce whole farm emissions. In an MLA-funded research programme, we are testing this theory using in a farm experiment near Deloraine, Tasmania.

Biochar

WICC sets sights on net zero with biochar plan

Shaun Ossinger, Patricia Gill. A Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee project, Green waste towards net zero, will target the conversion of Denmark’s green waste into biochar ... Instead of burning the green waste at Denmark’s Waste Transfer Station or transporting it to Albany’s Hanrahan Road tip, WICC is seeking solutions that benefit farmers and the community.

Media

Paper price through the roof

The [Tarrangower] Times has an excellent and longstanding relationship with its printer. That printer was the bearer of bad news recently, when it informed the Times that the cost of printing newspapers had increased significantly due to a dramatic rise in the cost of paper. It is expected there will be further price hikes in the pipeline. There is also a looming newsprint shortage.

Tourism

Cave trail unveiled

Gabrielle Duykers. Naracoorte leaders are hoping a newly completed trail linking the township to the Caves National Park will boost tourism in the district ... The 14.7-kilometre-long walking and biking trail begins at Naracoorte’s Memorial Parklands and winds its way to the UNESCO world heritage Naracoorte Caves site.

Gold - Vic

Kaiser drill results for Maldon

The final drilling results from the first exploration campaign of diamond drilling at Maldon returned a high-grade interval of 0.6m @ 52.8 g/t gold. Overall, the results were encouraging and very useful in defining the mineralised trends within Maldon ... Kaiser Reef Limited (ASX: KAU) considers Maldon to be an under-explored and prospective prolific high-grade historic goldfield.

Minerals - NSW

Geophysical surveys to locate critical minerals across NSW: Toole

A new series of NSW Government funded geophysical surveys will take place in the state’s Central West, New England and Far West to gather detailed information that will help to uncover valuable critical minerals buried deep underground ... “Exploration programs today may lead to a critical minerals project in five to ten years that employs locals and plays a vital role in the manufacturing supply chain for products such as batteries, electric vehicles, and renewables" : Paul Toole.

Exploration - WA

Opposition groundswell – mining application

Patricia Gill. Denmark Environment Centre convenor Bart Lebbing is spearheading a call to ban mining in the Denmark shire. The move comes with a pending exploration licence by the private company, United Funds Pty Ltd, and widespread community opposition to any mine in the shire ... Mr Lebbing said the exploration licence had come amid a boom in demand for metals essential for renewable power generation.

International

Rabobank commentary and report: May 2022 WASDE ‘Outlook on 2022/23 global grain and oilseeds market prospects’

The outlook shows 2022/23 may be the first year since 2012/13 in which the world has to consume less grain than the previous year – due to high prices and low supply, says Rabobank senior commodities analyst Cheryl Kalisch Gordon.  “This is forecast to be a drop of only 0.1%, but that compares to average annual growth of 2.1% over the past decade,” she said.

Research

Agricultural research cut

Gabrielle Duykers. Localised farm trials in the Limestone Coast and western Victoria will be significantly reduced after a research and innovation body chose to reprioritise its spending ... Historically, the Mackillop Farm Management Group (MFMG) used funds from its members to conduct variety trials in areas throughout the region where there are either no National Variety Trial sites, where nearby trial sites have different growing conditions to those on members' farms, or to conduct specific cropping trials as selected by the committee. Earlier this month the group announced it would cease funding these trials indefinitely, citing rising running and management costs.

Marketing

High-end Aussie cherries sell out in Vietnam and Malaysia

A targeted campaign across Vietnam and Malaysia featuring luxury, ribbon-handled gift boxes filled with premium Australian cherries has resulted in close to 4000 boxes sold and importers and consumers wanting more.

Covid impacts

The impact of China’s Covid lockdowns on Australian agriculture

RaboResearch general manager for Australia and New Zealand Stefan Vogel said, in particular, there are four specific impacts of the lockdowns in China that are set to have increasing ramifications for Australian agribusiness – disruptions to freight logistics, Chinese corn plantings, dairy demand and hog pricing.

Prices

Farmers not receiving price rises: NSW Farmers

Rising inflation has sent prices up at the checkout, prompting calls from farmers for a crackdown on price gouging. The Consumer Price Index jumped 2.1 per cent this quarter – and is up 5.1 per cent over the past year – but NSW Farmers Horticulture Committee Chair Guy Gaeta said not all was it seemed at the checkout.

EVs

Electric vehicles take off on Lord Howe Island

Ian Hutton. In April, 2022, three more electric vehicles have arrived on Lord Howe. These are all a Chinese-made BYD van, the T3 ... This brings to twelve the total electric vehicles now in use on the island ... With concern around the world about fossil fuels emitting carbon dioxide and adding to climate change, plus the world politics of oil supply from Russia and the Middle East (currently causing a spike in petrol prices) Lord Howe Island, with its solar farm, is extremely well placed to take advantage of this new, clean, cheaper mode of transport.

EVs

Electric vehicles break the barrier: NSW Ministers

“Now that we’ve rolled out the final chargers along the Barrier Highway, located at Wilcannnia, Cobar, Dubbo, Parkes, Orange and Lithgow, it means drivers travel no more than 300 kilometres to recharge their vehicles when making the 1000-kilometre journey between Sydney and Broken Hill”: Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole.

Compost

Compost in sponge cities are the answer to building climate resilience: CORE

Research conducted by the Centre for Organic Research & Education (CORE) has developed recycled content technologies that can turn cities and farmlands into Sponges that can adapt to more frequent flooding and drought events to reduce the risk they present to our communities ... May 1st to 7th marks International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) in Australia.

Flood waste

Flood waste on Northern Rivers farms turned into useful mulch

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has helped Northern Rivers farmers turn rotting flood waste into a healthy by-product for soil improvement, through a partnership with Multikraft Probiotic Solutions. Multikraft’s MicroBalance product was last week sprayed by helicopter onto 33 farms in northern New South Wales.

Human waste

Sewage solution lights up Logan’s carbon ambitions

Logan City Council has opened an innovative new facility that turns human waste into energy and fertiliser ... The facility, which is the first of its kind in Australia, blasts sewage with extremely high heat to turn it into a product called biochar. Biochar can be used for a variety of purposes including as a fertiliser for the agricultural industry. It also has potential applications in the building industry.

Dairy

Norco to increase purchase price of milk to help farmers with flood recovery

Norco dairy farmers are to receive an immediate price increase of five cents a litre to support them in farm production after the floods. Norco Co-operative’s 281 members will receive the extra five cents a litre paid as a co-operative premium above the normal milk prices, taking the average price to 84c a litre.

Research

Fertiliser test strips fine-tune fertiliser decisions

GRDC Agronomy Solutions Director Sean Mason ... says the use of pre-season soil testing results from within paddock zones together with test strips can fine-tune fertiliser recommendations and ensure growers are getting the most bang for their fertiliser buck.

Outlook

Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook: Now for the tricky bit

"Australia sells energy and food to the world, so the tragedy in Ukraine means that our miners and farmers have seen the spoils of war."

Space

Rocketing into space from the Territory

The Northern Territory Space Strategy 2022-2026 builds on the success of Territory Space industry 2020 and establishes a vision for the Northern Territory to be recognised as the home of high altitude pseudo-satellites in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia’s premier space launch location and a leading regional centre for ground station facilities.

Property

High Country grazing property expected to attract strong interest

A Bonnie Doon large-scale grazing property has hit the market, offering potential buyers various potential outcomes at the Gateway to Victoria’s High Country.

Property

Receivers selling Murray River Organics portfolio

ASX-listed organic dried fruit producer Murray River Organics has put its remaining seven horticulture properties up for sale, two months after going into receivership. More than $15 million is expected for the aggregation in Mildura.

Tourism

Bigger and better: Rod Run shines

The Narrandera Rod Run, which took place over the Easter weekend, seems to be getting bigger and better each year. This year's event proved to be a huge success with almost 500 vehicles involved. There were 398 entrants, plus 100 day-trip cars on Easter Sunday.

Covid impacts

Worker shortages hitting small businesses hard

Since the beginning of the pandemic, small businesses have been amongst the hardest hit, and unfortunately, for many businesses across central Victoria, the continued effects of COVID are still being felt. Annette Larsen, owner and Chef at Harcourt Produce and General Store, told the Times, “We have been short-staffed for almost a year."

Development rights

TFGA: An extension to permitted development rights provided a lifeline for UK farmers – can we do the same in Australia?

In the UK, Pitchup.com supported a successful campaign to extend permitted development rights allowing change of use of land for camping. This small change to planning rules facilitated the opening of 1,000 pop-up campsites across the country over the summer season, primarily at farms, and helped over 300,000 holidaymakers book a much-needed break in the outdoors.

Wheat

Prospects for Australian wheat exports amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict

A Charles Sturt University agribusiness expert suggests Australia can anticipate an increase in wheat exports to countries affected by the Ukraine-Russia conflict and should target those importing nations’ requirements.

Rare earths

Edenhope minerals explored

Gabrielle Duykers. A junior exploration company is expanding its search for valuable mineral deposits on either side of the SA-Victorian border. Resource Base has applied for 12 mineral exploration licences to search for rare earth elements near Naracoorte, Penola, Edenhope, and Goroke. 

Development

Gingin plans for a consolidated caravan park at Guilderton

Parts of Dewar and Edwards streets will need to be permanently closed prior to their inclusion into a consolidated caravan park reserve if the Shire of Gingin proceeds with an agenda item.

Insects

New tool helps grain growers preserve beneficial insects on farm

A critical new tool will help Australian grain growers understand what pesticides to select to preserve ‘beneficial’ insects that play a critical role in pest management in the paddock.

Outbreak

Queensland fruit fly outbreak Renmark North

A new Queensland fruit fly outbreak has been declared in Renmark North, following the detection of flies in monitoring traps. Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) staff will be visiting properties in the new 1.5km red outbreak area, which overlaps the existing Renmark West outbreak area and takes in the localities Renmark North and Chaffey.