April, 2019

Ag’s export boom struggling against busy market rivals

A rush of beef and sheepmeat exports, coupled with drought in eastern Australia has left Australia’s livestock numbers depleted, restricting exporters’ chances of holding market share against stiffening competition in the coming years. Farm exports are growing in value by a respectable 5.2 per cent annually as Australian suppliers rush to sell a wider choiceoffood products to a raft of fast developing economies.
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But our trade rivals are generally doing an even better job of expanding their market share – invariably in our export backyard.

The agricultural commodity export rush has also rapidly depleted our sheep and cattle numbers in recent years which means Australia will most likely be letting future market growth opportunities slip by, in the short term at least, as restocking becomes a priority, says the Australian Farm Institute (AFI).

The AFI’s latest agricultural trade performance review highlights how our farmsector continues to lose market share in global markets, particularly among booming Asian food industry importers.

Average compound growth in agricultural trade worldwide has been about 7pc in the past seven years – about 2pc more than the pace of growth in Australian farm exports.

While still mostly holding our own in North Asia (Japan, China and Korea) and the sparsely populated Pacific-Oceania region, we are seriously underperforming as a source of agri-food supplies to some of the fastest growing markets including the South East Asia, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In the six years to 2014 the value of farm imports by nations in these regions grew almost 15pc annually.

That’s about twice the rate ofour overall ag export growth effort.

Importantly, these tended to be neighbouring markets which we “widely identify as our own” but which now sourced more fromother exporters, said AFI executive director Mick Keogh.

Countries such as India, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Ukraine now rated as new key competitors on the beef, grain and horticulture fronts in Asia.

So, too, were persistent rivals such as big grain and beef producer Canada, which has emerged lately as a significant seller to the Indian pulse market.

Mr Keogh said AFI’sfindings were a wake up call to governments and the farm sector about “not assuming these markets are ours and there for our taking”.

Farm exporters mustbe alert to “any complacency about the ability of our farm sector to automatically benefit from growth in global demand for world populations increase and diets change”.

Australia was struggling to be cost competitive, particularly against emerging agricultural exporting nations in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America.

However, the review noted the major reason our farm sector had lost market share was limited land and water availability, which restricted intensive farming opportunitiesand export growth.

This in turn highlighted the need for an expansion of farming and infrastructure investment in northern Australia.

“Two main avenues available to increase export volume are a lift in agricultural productivity and expanding agriculture in northern Australia,” Mr Keogh said.

He said governments and the agricultural sector should redouble efforts to pursue both objectives to boost the long-term wealth the sector generated for the Australian economy.

Rainfall and seasonal conditions were a constant factor in Australia’s ability to meet overseas market demand, said report co-author and AFI project officer, Mark Henry.

Despite growing global opportunities, farmexports were set to shrink in coming years in response to a big turnoff of livestock to processors during recent droughtin eastern Australia.

Grain export opportunities had alreadybeen hurt by the tough seasons.

“There’s going to be a relatively big period of flock and herd rebuilding which will restrictexports for a while, but in the long term it’s not a dire problem,” Mr Henry said.

A continued fall in dairy output in response to dry weather and low international prices impacting on farm profitability would also erode Australia’s export capacity in that sector.

Mr Keogh said the trade performance review emphasised a need for more focus on increasing the value of agricultural exports, as well asvolume.

“Increased value can be generated by focusing on quality, biosecurity and safety, with Australia already having world-leading systems in place to address these requirements.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Ashley far from ideal: Greens

The state governmentshould use the next Councilof Australian Governments meeting to push for the closure ofthe Ashley Youth Detention Centre, Greens leader Cassy O’Connor says.
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The Ashley Youth Detention Centre

Ms O’Connorsaid planning should be under way to close Ashley, which she described as a gateway to Risdon Prison, despite the centre achieving some positive outcomes for young people.

Her comments come after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committed to placingyouth detention and child protectionon the COAG agenda as they were issues that applied to every jurisdiction.

Ms O’Connor said Ashley was “a very far cry from the dehumanising brutality” of the Northern Territory’s youth justice system, but said it was a far from ideal environment for young offenders.

She called on Premier Will Hodgman to instead opt for a therapeutic and diversionary approach to youth offending, which she said had significantly lower recidivism rates in other jurisdictions.

“We need to focus on keeping young people out of trouble, off drugs and onto a positive life course. This requires a systemic and community wide approach,” Ms O’Connorsaid.

Both Ms O’Connor and Labor child safety spokesman Josh Willie said the Deloraine facility was hugely expensive for the amount of young offenders it housed.

Mr Willie said Labor was open to establishing a “cheaper and more modern facility” that would allow a higher amount of funding on diversionary programs.

“It would mean greater support to allow young people to safely transition back into community with a lesser risk of reoffending,” he said.

But Mr Willie said Ashley was a strategic asset for the North,and a community discussion about the best use of the facility going forwardwas needed.

Mr Hodgman said he was not aware of any evidence to suggest Tasmania’s youth justice system had experienced issues similar to the Northern Territory, but stressed protecting children was a key priority.

He said the main component of thegovernment’s Youth at Risk strategy and implementation plan involved examining ways to redevelop custodial youth detention in the state.

Mr Hodgman said the government had demonstrated its commitment to protectingchildren in its care by moving to overhaulthe state’s Child Protection System, and introducing amendments to the Youth Justice Act.

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Local art on show

VARIETY: Sue Cowdroy with Evans Arts Council president Wendy-Lou Tisdell showing off works from the 2016 Art Competition and Sale. Photo:CHRIS SEABROOK 080216cartshow2ARTISTS are always on the hunt for an audience to appreciate their work and in Bathurst there is no greater stage than the Evans Arts Council annual Art Competition and Sale.
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The treasured Bathurst event will return on Friday, August 5 at Bathurst RSL.

Evans Arts Council president Wendy-Lou Tisdell said the lead up to the 2016 show has been very positive, with 429 entries received from both amateur and professional local artists.

“We’ve actually got more entries than last year, which is really, really good,” she said.

There are a variety of sections in the show to suit every kind of artist, including paintings, ceramics andsculpture.

The competition and sale also offers a juniors section with two categories, one for drawing and one for every other form of artwork created by young people.

More than 51 entries were receivedacross the section.

“We’ve got a couple of school teachers who really encourage kids [to create art],” Ms Tisdellsaid.

The Art Competition and Sale will officially open at 7.30pm on Friday.

In addition to all the incredible works of art, it will feature this year’s guest artist Merilyn Rice.

“Merilyn does beautiful work and she teaches as well. Our thought was that if Merilyn was our guest artist she’d encourage a lot of her students to enter,” Ms Tisdell said.

A selection of Ms Rice’s work will appear in the show and she will speak on the night.

All of the works featured at the show will be for sale, with 20 per cent of the proceeds from each artwork going to the Evans Arts Council so it can continue its services.

The rest goes directly to the artist.

Ms Tisdell said the longevity of the Art Competition and Sale does come down to the variety of the works, the opportunity it provides for local artists to showcase their talent and the affordability of what they create.

“I think a lot of it is because it is local, but also the cost factor; you can buy something as cheap as $30 or as much as $500,” she said.

People can view and purchase the works Friday evening, Saturday from 10am to 9pm and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

Red Devils strike back

Stephen Birrell in action for Moe. file photo.MOE United has regrouped after a shaky fortnight to consolidate top spot on the Latrobe Valley Soccer League ladder with victory over Olympians at Harold Preston Reserve on Sunday.
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Trips to Traralgon have proved troublesome for the Red Devils of late, with City scoring a shock win over them in round 16, and Olympians ensured the trend continued in a dogged effort.

Despite a late Olympians fightback, Moe clung on to an important 3-2 victory to retain the ladder lead on differential over neighbour Newborough-Yallourn United.

With just one point from the previous two matches, Moe coach Kevin O’Farrell said it was a relief to sew up three points in round 18.

“That was definitely the aim, get three points and get back on a winning run again,” he said.

“Traralgon was pretty good the day we played them, we had a really off day. We could have played for four or five hours and not scored the way we were going.

“(Against NYU) we got it back to 3-3 with about five or 10 minutes to go and we really put them under some pressure and could have got the winner in the end… but three-all was probably fair.”

Olympians hit the scoresheet first but the lead was cancelled out when Ty Georgiou found a reply almost immediately.

Matt Shearing then added a brace to extend the visitor’s lead to 3-1 before a raft of Red Devils’ chances went awry.

With the door left ajar Olympians attempted to squeeze through the cracks and managed a late goal to set up a tense final 10 minutes, but could not produce an equaliser.

“I thought we played okay, probably didn’t defend that well at certain stages but we looked like creating a lot of chances, but probably didn’t take as many as we should have,” O’Farrell said.

Injury, illness and suspension has been rife in the Moe camp in recent weeks.

Nick Fogarty was suspended due to a red card in the Traralgon City game, Lee Dastey has been in and out, Owen Kelly has missed game-time due to illness and Lachlan McKenzie suffered a concussion last week against NYU which kept him out of Sunday’s match.

O’Farrell said a return to full strength would hold Moe in good stead for the run home.

“There’s still some teams that haven’t had their bye yet, some of which are in contention, by the time everyone has their bye and evens out it will be interesting to see where everyone is,” he said.

“It will be nice to just settle the side down again; at one stage there we were fairly settled and the results were quite good, but we’ve been a bit unsettled the last few weeks.”

Joint competition leader NYU was a handsome winner over City on Sunday to keep the pressure on at the top.

The Combine scored a 4-1 victory over the Roosters, who finished the game with nine men after red cards to Ralph Austin and Liam McCluskey.

NYU took early control of the midfield and put Traralgon’s defence under pressure, which peaked at the 13-minute mark when Mark Fairbrother unleashed a right foot shot from just inside the penalty box that found the back of the net.

The game continued with limited chances due to tight defence by both teams before Brandon Scott headed home from a well weighted corner at the 25-minute mark to send NYU 2-0 up at half-time.

City came out after the break full of run and scored two minutes into the half when Stefan Sbaglia placed a shot wide of the keeper to make it 1-2.

The Roosters were reduced to 10 men on 75 minutes when McCluskey was sent off for a challenge, and when Austin followed NYU took control.

At the 85th minute Tim Armistead drilled the ball home from close range after a pinpoint pass from Luke Buhagiar. The Combine scored again in extra-time when Scott slotted home his second for the day from close range.

Falcons remained one match in arrears of the leaders after Fortuna forfeited Saturday night’s Morwell derby, as did Churchill with a 3-0 win over Sale United.

Monash defeated Trafalgar 3-1 to make it back-to-back wins for the men in yellow.

Despite Trafalgar’s positive start it was the visiting Wolves who took a 15-minute lead in spectacular fashion when Ethan Lawrence volleyed home a long range effort.

The lead was doubled minutes later when Ty Christy tapped home a Ryan Davis cross as Monash began to find its rhythm.

Monash made it 3-0 early in the second half; Christy’s cross caused havoc in the Trafalgar defence resulting in an own goal.

Victory keeper Aaron Vaughan was called on to produce a fine double save, denying Christy his second, before Jesse Davis’ follow up volley was turned away as the game opened up.

Trafalgar was rewarded for its endeavour and grabbed a consolation goal late on, but it was not enough as Monash ran out winners.

In other matches Tyers crushed East Gippsland United 9-0 and Pegasus had the bye.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Butcher in field of his own

ADVERTISING FEATURE
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REGULAR EXHIBITOR: Colin Butcher has been at every Eyre Peninsula Field Days since the event’s inception in the 1970’s.

Noteveryone can say they have exhibited at every Eyre Peninsula Field Days since the event’s inception, but Colin Butcher certainly can.

He and his wife Lorraine have operated Eastern Eyre Machinery since 1992, but his interest and involvement in the farm machinery industry stretches back to 1958.

The Cleve-based business specialises in tillage and seeding machinery, and imports Versatile (Ezee-On) cultivators, airseeders and offset discs, and carries spare parts for the full range, which they are happy to send practically anywhere in Australia.

“We are also agents for other tillage products – Horwood Bagshaw, John Shearer, Kuhn and K-Hart,” Mr Butcher said.

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GraincorpAerotechEl-Gra EngineeringPrecision ShedsPeter TreloarHeathy’s Rock Solid ContractingThe Water Tank Cleaning CoSmith andGeorgMogas RegionalHi-tech Ag SolutionsMr Butcher said at Eastern Eyre Machinery, the customer came first.

“We have an extensive range but if there is something you want we don’t have, we can order it in for you,” he said.

“Some of my favourite feedback is from companies who’ve found it hard to get parts for machines that are more than 10 years old.

“Well, we often have stuff right here on the shelves for machines that are over 40 years old.”

Eyre Peninsula is ‘home’ for Mr Butcher, wholooksforward to the biennialfield days when they rolled around.

He said the event provided a platform for him tocatch up with people from across the region, the State, and further afield.

“The field days are good for the town, they bring people here and support other surrounding towns when visitors spend on fuel and accommodation, for example,” he said.

“While you probably won’t get someone buy a $500,000 piece of machinery on the spot, they have the chance to make contact and follow up if they like what they see.”

Mr Butcher encouraged visitors to ask about this year’s show specials and to visit the company’s stand to see a unique piece of machinery.

“We’ll be bringing the new Versatile ML 950 drill, the only one in Australia, plus a Kuhn Mouldboard Plough and a new K-Hart disc seeder,” he said.

Drop in and see whatMr Butcher has on offer at the field days and ask him about how the event hasprogressedacross the decades.

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Welcome to Eyre Peninsula Field DaysEP’s crop protection comes from aboveOffering a rock solid serviceThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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