NEWS

INSIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

  • A shortage of skilled and unskilled labour has led to many Northern Territory Station owners calling 2018 the toughest year to find staff. Both family-owned stations and corporate pastoral companies are facing unprecedented staff shortages from entry level roles through to more skilled positions such...

  • While the use of casual labour is a common way of managing peak workloads in many agricultural industries, uncertainty around what constitutes ‘casual’ poses a significant risk to employers. In 2016, more than 2.5 million employees were engaged on a casual work basis, comprising almost...

  • Every year, millions of innocent avocados are subjected to the worst kind of abuse. Sitting quietly on the supermarket shelf, they are prodded, squeezed and harassed by consumers looking for a ‘perfectly’ ripe avo. This man-handling causes untold physical damage to the beloved fruit, with...

  • Changes to the Working Holiday Maker visa program will make employing seasonal staff easier for Australian employers but are not the complete solution the industry has been seeking, according to industry lobby groups. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the changes earlier this month but cautioned...

  • The Big Dry continues to grip many parts of Australia in drought, despite some areas having received encouraging recent rains. October rains across northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland came mostly from thunderstorms, providing only patchy coverage. “To give one example, Dubbo, which has...

  • Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has backflipped on his opinion of the 10c/litre milk levy imposed by Coles and Woolworths, claiming that the initiative had become an ‘empty media stunt’. Only last month, Minister Littleproud applauded Woolworths for instigating the levy on branded milk products, quoted...

  • Meet Angus the farmer. Weighing in at 450kgs, he’s probably on the larger side of most farmers you know, but in actual fact Angus is one of the world’s first mobile robot farmers, working in an ultra high-tech warehouse in Silicon Valley. Iron Ox, the...

  • While the adoption of technology has been widely recognised in traditional livestock sectors, several newly developed applications are helping to improve the production and sustainability of the world’s large-scale salmon farms. In Norway, one company is testing the use of facial recognition software to identify...

  • Australia’s drought continues to leave a toll on agriculture with irrigators the latest group to feel the effect. In a September report, valuers Herron Todd White warn that increasing water prices will affect growers of permanent crops and commodity prices. Water-intensive crops such as almonds,...

  • A new project to connect indigenous enterprise owners with horticulture skills has been funded as part of a $4-million grant to create job opportunities in northern Australia. The project will connect two Aboriginal corporations with the knowledge, skills and capacity required to develop horticulture production...

  • Consumer support for strawberry growers is helping the industry to bounce back after being thrown into crisis earlier this month. Since the story broke, more than 100 cases of strawberries containing needles have been reported, prompting widespread panic amongst consumers. Supermarket chains Coles and Aldi...

  • Australian supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths have announced a 10cents/litre levy on milk to help drought-affected dairy farmers. Woolworths was the first retailer to commit to the initiative, adding a new, drought-levy brand alongside its existing range. Two and three-litre cartons will be branded to...

  • The Victorian Government is undertaking a global search for agtech solutions for the State’s agriculture and food industries. As part of the Internet of Things trial, the government has been investigating the barriers to digital technologies in agriculture, including connectivity and the use of on-farm...

  • Securing skilled and unskilled labour continues to hamper production for Australian almond growers. Image: Almonds by Daniel Schwen available under a CC3.0 license. China’s 25 per cent trade tariff on American almonds could provide a lucrative opportunity for Australian growers. American almonds make up 80% of the...

  • Newly available DNA information will make it easier for wheat breeders to isolate desirable traits. Image Wheat by David Monniaux licensed under a CC3.0 agreement.   In a world-first, a ground-breaking, thirteen-year global research project has recently culminated, producing a full reference sequence for the wheat variety...

  • Australia’s reputation for producing safe meat products may help exporters get a foot in the door of China’s lucrative import market. Image by Fanifrank, from Wikimedia under a CC4.0 license. The world’s largest pig herd is under threat after it was reported that African Swine Fever...

  • Investment company Growth Farms has announced a $100 million venture to lease land to Australian farmers. As the cost of agricultural land increases, leasing farmland is becoming an increasingly popular option for farmers who want to expand holdings and capitalise on enterprise scale. Growth Farm’s...

  • More consumers are opting to purchase foods free of single-plastic packaging. Image by mcstudio79 from pixabay under a CC0 license. The world’s first plastic-free aisle has opened in a supermarket in the Netherlands. Retail chain Ekoplaza has included the plastic-free area amid the growing trend against...

  • 98% of New South Wales and more than 57% of Queensland are in a state of declared drought. Image by Jussarian available on Flikr on a CC2.0 license. The New South Wales Government has announced an additional $500 million in funding to help farmers facing drought,...

  • Consumer trends set to drive fresh produce growth includes an increasing need for convenient, healthy options. Image by igorovsyannkov, available at pixabay under a CC0 license. Australia’s fresh produce sector offers great potential for future sales growth, according to a report released by Neilsen this month. The...

  • Mail delivered by drone could soon be a reality, as the logistics industry catches up with advances in technology. Image: The Interspect by Bako Gaboravailable at Wikimedia under a Creative Commons 1.0 license. The Deakin Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics has recently completed a...

  • Image: The development of a large scale horticulture enterprise at Monash offers a welcome boost to the southern Murray-Darling Basin economy. A bold new agricultural development will see almost $210 million invested in the Riverland region of South Australia over the next five years, targeting...

  • Image: A 1.8-kilometre long train left Mid North South Australia last week, on a mission to deliver grain to drought-affected farmers in New South Wales. Images from Farm Online  Australia’s longest train has departed from South Australia on a mission to deliver much-needed grain to...

  • Image: Jim and Katherine Maitland, at their Clare farm – Anama Park. Image supplied. The development of a paddock to plate brand has been a steady success for one South Australian farming family, and the welcome addition of a supply agreement with Virgin Australia presents a...

  • Michelle Lally from Australian Micro Abattoirs accept the Producers Innovation Award from MLA Managing Director Richard Norton. Image supplied. A FARMER-DEVELOPED micro abattoir concept has been nationally recognised as an innovative system component for the meat market. South Australian Michele Lally accepted the MLA Producers...

  • Image: Western Australia’s largest holding of cropping country is on the market, and could be yours for a mere $80 million. Image from The West. WA FARMER AND machinery dealer John Nicoletti is selling his 200,000 hectare property – set to be the biggest transaction...

  • Image: Head Grower Kerry Dell’Agostino, CEO Dr Ben Cole and Sales Manager Merilyn Elson in The Wedge smart shade house at Arthurton in Western Australia. Supplied. A WA-BASED PRIVATE equity business has recently launched an Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the aim of becoming the world’s...

  • Described by the World Health Organisation as the global health epidemic of the 21st century, workplace stress is a critical issue requiring both proactive and reactive management strategies by employers. Image: The Unbreakable Farmer Warren Davies says proactively managing workplace stress is the best way...

  • A bumper year for wool and wine exports is being driven by continued growth by the Chinese market. Image by Stefano Lubiana under a CC2.0 license. Improving global markets and increasing wealth amongst Asian populations is set to continue positive growth in Australian Agriculture in 2018....

  • New Profits from Old Sheep? Image from ‘Productive Sheep Husbandry’ from Internet Archive Book Images with no known copyright restrictions. Dry aged mutton could be the next big thing in food thanks to a trial between farmers and chefs at the William Angliss Institute. Led by...

  • The Australian live export industry is experiencing increasing pressure from animal activists and politicians since it was discovered that 2400 sheep died upon the ship Alwassi. Image by Shpernik088 from Wikimedia reproduced under an Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. The increasing voice of animal activists continues to mount pressure...

  • While Australian agriculture faces an exciting period of growth, an ageing workforce and skills shortages need to be addressed. Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Growing international demand for Australian food, changing food trends and an ageing agricultural workforce will have...

  • Image: Premium quality fruit has placed Australian on the front foot of growing demand by Asian consumers. Image from pxhere, published under CCO 1.0 agreement. A forecasted medium-term boom for the horticulture sector will be driven by growth in the nut and fruit sectors, according to the...

  • Image: Mycoplasma bovis is a highly contagious disease affecting dairy cows worldwide. Rotary Milking Parlor by Gunnar Richter published under a BY-SA 3.0 attribution. New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has called for a cull of all cows on 28 properties on the South Island, in...

  • Image: An artist’s impression of the proposed Lucky Bay grain port. The tiny town of Lucky Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula will house a brand new grain port valued at $115 million, thanks to the State’s first farmer and private equity partnership. Consortium T-Ports...

  • Image: Corn in my side – A lack of available labour is an issue for many sectors of agriculture. Image by USDA, available at Flickr through a CC-BY 2.0 agreement. A pilot program kicked off in Queensland earlier this month, with the aim of connecting job...

  • Image: Small businesses that don’t report cyber security attacks will face a maximum fine of $1.8 million under new laws. Image from Max Pixel, under a CCO Public Domain License. New laws introduced this month will require all small businesses to report data breaches to the...

  • Image: Investments in clean energy farming projects are hoped to improve financial and environmental outcomes. Image by Kellie Jane, under a creative commons license. A new $100 million fund is set to accelerate the rate of investment in Australian agriculture, with a focus on improving on-farm...

  • Image: Four boys riding goats, ca. 1918. State Library of Queensland. Value-added goat meat products could generate an additional $13 million for the industry, according to a recently released report. Value adding goat meat for domestic consumers was commissioned by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) with...

  • Image: Chris Thomas, a former pastoralist, inspired his daughter Alex to improve the safety of farming families. Image supplied. Adelaide-based Safety Consultant Alex Thomas has been awarded the 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, earning a bursary of $10,000 to launch her ‘Plant a Seed for...

  • Image: Project Boundary Rider was developed to assess the use of spatial technologies in protecting the wine grape industry from pest and disease threats. Image supplied by Vinehealth Australia. Could the smartphone be used in the fight against on-farm biosecurity risks? A recent trial led...

  • Image: North and South American citrus crops have been decimated by citrus greening disease. Image by pics_pd from Pixnio under a CC0 licence. Brazilian researchers are one step closer to having a viable solution for citrus greening disease, after a breakthrough identified a molecule responsible...

  • Image: Dairy Farmer Geoff Hutchinson with his newly installed automated dairy. Image from The Stock Journal. A newly installed parlour-style dairy has helped farmer Geoff Hutchinson to improve the profitability and productivity of his Fleurieu Peninsula dairy farm. For many dairy farmers across Australia, innovation...

  • Image: Working in agriculture poses the highest risk factor for Australian workers. Image: Rustic Farm by Marvin10 from pixabay, available through a CC0 license. A new focus on safety and risk by agricultural companies signals a change in attitude towards workplace health and safety. Australian agriculture has...

  • Image from MaxPixel under a CCO creative commons license. Poor early season conditions, unseasonably high temperatures and a lack of rain have led to a concerning season to growers in many grain regions around Australia. In September this year, the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and...

  • Image: Animal welfare activists captured the footage at the Star Poultry Supply abattoir in Melbourne. Photo by Skeeze from Pixabay, under a Creative Commons 2.0 License. The poultry industry is the latest to be accused of serious breaches in animal welfare standards after video footage...

  • Image: Australia’s first national Agriculture Day celebrated the contribution of the industry. Photo Farmers’ Market from Wikimedia, under a Creative Commons 2.0 License. Australia’s inaugural National Agriculture Day was hosted on Thursday 21st November, organised to highlight the significance the industry plays in the lives...

  • Image: Almond trees in blossom. Photo from pixabay under a CCO Creative Commons license. Griffith growers the Dinicolas family have recently converted their mixed farming business to focus purely on almonds, without any regrets. Originally following in his father’s footsteps, second-generation farmer Denis Dinicolas started his...

  • Image: The export of beef products to China will soon resume after a three-month ban was lifted. Photo by Pete Johnson from Pexels, licensed under a CCO agreement. The Chinese Government has ended a three-month ban on the import of Australian beef products, following negotiations led...

  • Image: Lettuce Feed You – Horticulture enterprises need to innovate in order to stay ahead of the curve. Photo by Michael, available at Pexel by a CCO agreement. Australian vegetable growers need to up their game in order to remain profitable and competitive, according to...

  • Image: Millah Murrah Prue M4, pictured with (L-R) vendor Ross Thompson (Millah Murrah), purchaser Rodger Pryce (Brooklana Angus), Andrew Bickford (Elders Bathurst) and auctioneer Paul Dooley. Image supplied. Social media feeds have been buzzing over the last week with the news that a heifer named...

  • Image: While traditional hail and fire policies have been well adopted, multi-peril crop insurance policies are still overwhelmingly unsubscribed by Australian growers.  Photo by Cecile Despierres, available from Pexel under a CCO license. A recent review by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal in New...

  • Image: Where have all the young women gone? Yap Yap (dog) pulled in a cart by Achong – Trundle, NSW, by an unknown photographer, from the State Library of New South Wales with no known copyright restrictions. While Australia’s population is estimated to increase from...

  • Hurricane Irma has significantly damaged Florida’s Orange crop, which should lead to an increase the price of Oranges globally. Image: Vintage Postcard – Oranges In Florida, licensed under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license. Orange juice futures soared amid the devastation left by Hurricane Irma, with the...

  • Image: Could tattooed labels on fruit and veg be a sustainable answer for the fresh produce industry? Image reproduced with permission from Laser Foods. Tattooing labels on fruit and vegetable items could become a norm as the fresh produce industry seeks an alternative to traditional...

  • Image: Sightings and rumours that the Thylacine is still alive have fueled several volunteer groups to actively look for signs of the marsupial. Wombat and Thylacine Lithograph, by an unknown author from the Instructive Picture Book (1877) available through a public domain license. Recently released footage of...

  • Image: Interest in Australian farm land is increasing, with buyers from Europe, America and Asia keen to secure both land and established agricultural enterprises. Aerial Photo of an Australian Summer Landscape by Thennike from Wikimedia licensed under a Creative Common CC BY-SA 4.0 More than 10% of Australian...

  • Image: Researchers from Eurofins Agroscience Australia (far right and far left) shoe Soil C Quest’s Mick Wettenhall and Guy Webb (centre) how research into inoculums is progressing. Image supplied. A bold new project aims to put the future of food security and climate change firmly in...

  • Image: Crutching sheep involves removing some of the skin from the backend of sheep to reduce the chance of flystrike. Crutching1 by cGoodwin is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0. Injectable pain relief is now available for use sheep, but it is too late for the...

  • Image: The sustainability of the Barwon River is of significant concern given the level of over extraction being carried out by irrigators. Collarenebri by cGoodwin is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0. ABC’s Four Corners programme that aired last month raised serious question around the allocation,...

  • Image: Agtechnologies including CropX and mOasis present opportunities for irrigators to grow more produce with less water.  Turkey Centre Pivot Irrigation System from Alibaba, labelled for reuse. The impact of climate change combined with an increasing global population and a reduction in arable lands is pressuring...

  • Image: Jackson Land and Cattle was listed for US$175million in 2011. Photo courtesy of Business Insider. The Shire of Cardinia in Victoria is home to the most expensive farmland in Australia, according to a report released earlier this year. The Australian Farmland Values 2016 report shows that...

  • Image: While Kangaroo is often seen on Australian restaurant menus, could other native creatures soon be part of our diet? Braised kangaroo, Swan Valley by Phillip Capper from Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Could looking at the past offer us a glimpse...

  • Image: Pongamia Pinnata Seeds from Wikipedia under a Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 An American company has adopted an Australian tree with the hope of growing high value crops whilst restoring depleted agricultural lands. The low-maintenance Pongamia tree produces oilseeds that can be processed for biofuel as...

  • Image: Merging the surveying capabilities of UAVs with diagnostic tools could provide farmers with a head start in treating poor performing crops. ‘Drone’ by David McBee is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Over the last few years, agriculture has seen a dramatic rise in the use...

  • Image: Advances in GPS and satellite technologies promises a safer future for the most remote workers in Australia. ‘A stockman musters cattle on CSIROs Belmont Research Station in central Queensland’ by CSIRO is licensed under CC BY 3.0   The next generation in Personal Locator...

  • Image: The Indian government has cited animal welfare reasons for banning the slaughter of cattle and buffalo, a claim rebutted by many critics. “Sacred Cow” by Guy-Claude Portmann is licensed under CC BY 2.0 One of the world’s largest exporters of beef has banned the...

  • After a record 2016 grain harvest, increasing numbers of mice are posing a major threat to this year’s crops. An abundance of grain on the ground, good paddock cover and wet summer conditions have provided the ideal conditions for mice, with numbers exploding through many...

  • Over the years, we have seen technology change numerous industries by making jobs easier and more efficient. According to a start-up named ‘FluroSat’, farmers could be in for an exciting future, as they believe to have a solution that will improve crop yields. Not only...

  • Leading into 2017, we have high carcass weights as well as low female cattle slaughter. In the year ahead, we are expecting much of the same but what else is going to happen in 2017? Today, we will be taking a look through the cattle...

  • According to recent reports, around 22 million hectares of grain crops are planted each and every year in Australia. With the improvement in technology in recent years, grain production has become more reliable and efficient but the split environment still remains the same; the weather...

  • Over the years, the 457-visa program has not been short of its problems and now the Turnbull government is taking action by replacing it with a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa program. In the new program, there are two different offerings with short-term and medium-term lasting...

  • In order to commit to long-term affordable, low emission, and reliable energy, the National Farmers’ Association (NFF) has said that a transformation is required within Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM). According to the President of the NFF, the farming industry has required reliable, secure, and...

  • Ever since the problem of a shortage in livestock surfaced, many have proposed solutions but now one general manager believes foreign investment to be key. Greg Cross, at Fletcher’s International Exports, said that livestock was above 36 million when the company opened a processing facility...

  • At the start of every year, farmers face unpredictable markets but we start to learn a general trend as we head into the second quarter. In 2017, this has been no different and today we have reports for the price of both lamb and milk....

  • If you were to ask a group of people for their favourite ice cream, you would get multiple answers and this is the beauty of the product. However, ask what ice cream gives the best value and a growing amount of people would say Gundowring...

  • If you’re anything like thousands of people across Australia you probably have squashed farm ownership dreams. Look at the photos we have here of Tim and Tegan Hicks and their family, it’s so beautiful it makes you sick. But right now if things stay the...

  • It has been generally positive for the Australian farming industry so far this year, and we have seen this with the new export opportunities that have arisen. This is set to continue as new varieties of rice and grapes have been researched and produced. Should...

  • As we start to get comfortably into 2017, it has been mostly good news for Australian farmers after new export markets have been opened up for fruit. First, it was blueberry and raspberry growers who were ecstatic at the completion of a brand new quarantine...

  • Bumper Almond Harvest Trumping the 2015 almond harvest record of 80,000 tonnes, the yield for 2017 is expected to reach 85,000 tonnes, the largest on record. This increase correlates with nationwide almond industry expansion plans to grow Australia’s almond yield to 130,000 tonnes by 2025....

  • The ABARES December crop report was released early this month to summarise and assess state crop yields, projections and seasonal conditions. Throughout most cropping areas in Australia the seasonal conditions this year during late winter and spring favoured high yields. Rainfall: Above average rainfall was...

  • Amongst other things, Tasmania has a particular problem with gorse plants becoming a noxious weed and they can normally be seen wherever you turn along the Midland Highway. Over the years, this evergreen has caused many problems for farmers and has spread ever since it...

  • In modern history, the trends within agriculture research and development (AgR&D) are changing. For over fifty years, the patterns of R&D have been followed and noted across the world so that trends can be spotted and future predictions can be made. Therefore, we can now...

  • In recent years, we have seen many industries advance when it comes to naming women on boards and it looks as though progress will continue to be seen in future months and years. However, the biggest agricultural businesses across Australia are still behind with less...

  • Just recently, we saw Australian almond producers make claims that were rather surprising for the industry and many who take a keen interest in almond production. After going through a period of stability and very little growth, producers of almonds based in Australia are have...

  • Over the years, we have seen various different methods of raising funds within a business. More recently, there has been a substantial rise in businesses being funded by crowd-funding websites and this could be an answer to farming troubles if the Federal Government were to...

  • For many years, the measurement for investment returns on farms was not indexed to a national standard but we saw big changes at the beginning of November as with the introduction of the Australian Farm Index. Launched at the Australian Farm Institute Roundtable Conference, investors...

  • Harvey Millar, University of Western Australia Wheat is everywhere. It’s in bread, pasta, pastries, biscuits, pizza, batter, cereals, soups, sauces, instant drinks, salad dressing, processed meats and sweets, to name but a few. The western diet is so infatuated with wheat that most of us...

  • With one of the wettest winters on record for much of Australia, there is continual discussion around the increasing Murray River flows. With one common question asked being, what height are the flows actually going to reach and what effect will this have on rural...

  • With increased rainfall and favourable seasonal conditions throughout most of Australia, we keep hearing about a likely booming cropping season. However, many paddocks are waterlogged, some disease ridden and temperatures have been up and down – so what is harvest really going to look like?...

  • Ioannis Stergiopoulos, University of California, Davis; André Drenth, The University of Queensland, and Gert Kema, Wageningen University The banana is the world’s most popular fruit crop, with over 100 million metric tons produced annually in over 130 tropical and subtropical countries. Edible bananas are the...

  • Julie Cotter, University of Southern Queensland Younger farmers on family farms are more willing to accept outside investment and even ownership, whereas older producers are wary of this type of equity and would rather pursue niche markets, a new study has found. The study features...

  • In recent years, we have seen incredible changes to the world of agriculture and growers of wheat crops are now seeing a new reward in the shape of protein levels. In many regions, growers are considering a late application of nitrogen not to boost the...

  • Research from north Queensland could massively reduce the negative damage the agricultural industry causes to the global environment. Rocky De Nys, the professor of aquaculture at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville, is part of the CSIRO study analysing the effect that seaweed has on...

  • This week a $386 million dollar offer for the S. Kidman and Co cattle empire has been lodged. The offer is not only higher than Gina Rinehart’s joint bid with a Chinese partner, it is also the first all Australian offer. Why is this sale...

  • Relief for farmers as Fonterra Cooperative Group increases their forecast milk payout. For the second time in four weeks, forecast milk payout values have risen. Increasing 50 NZ cents to NZ $5.25/kg of milk solids – could the milk payout end the 3-year global price...

  • Bryan Lessard, CSIRO Scientists have predicted that by 2050 there will be 9.6 billion humans living on Earth. With the rise of the middle class, we are expected to increase our consumption of animal products by up to 70% using the same limited resources that...

  • Advances in Australian agriculture technology continue with new uses for remote drones. A Pacific Seeds farm in the Kimberley’s Ord Valley has been using a remote-controlled drone to protect its seed crops from the seasonal onslaught of birds. In the area birds such as corellas and black cockatoos...

  • Stuart Thompson, University of Westminster A new book, The Hidden Life of Trees, claims that trees talk to one another. But is this really the case? The simple answer is that plants certainly exchange information with one another and other organisms such as insects. Think...

  • How do you mass-produce leafy greens without sunlight, soil and lots of water? The answer: vertical farming. Indoor-farming innovators, AeroFarms, have mastered the best way to grow plants with minimal inputs. They mass-produce leafy greens in buildings throughout America by using fully controlled indoor environments....

  • Farm employees are encouraged to broaden their skillsets and learn more about the business of farming. A well-educated workforce can contribute to the smooth running of a farm, as more employees become aware of the reasons behind business decisions made in agriculture. With this knowledge,...

  • Philip Zylstra, University of Wollongong Bushfires in Australia can have a devastating impact on an environment and destroy homes and lives, so any effort to prevent them is a welcome move. But the way that we have traditionally understood bushfires and forest flammability in Australia...

  • Advances in Australian agriculture technology continue with new uses for remote drones. A Pacific Seeds farm in the Kimberley’s Ord Valley has been using a remote-controlled drone to protect its seed crops from the seasonal onslaught of birds. In the area birds such as corellas and black cockatoos...

  • Snails are reportedly doing their best to ruin Australia’s reputation in the export market. Chinese consumers of Australian barley are fed up with the quality of imports, which they say have been overrun by snails. Certain barley exporters are already being banned from trading with...

  • Australian table-grape growers have a new best friend: Japan. The export market for Australian-grown grapes has surged over the last 12 months, according to a report released by the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA). Although China dominated the market by import volume (China/Hong Kong combined...

  • The Victorian sheep and goat industry will be forced to incorporate electronic tagging from 2017 onwards. The new system will allow animals to be tracked, and, in the case a disease outbreak, ensure potentially infected animals can be accounted for. Sheep are currently identified through...

  • As the global population rises, so does the demand on the food supply. What challenges lie ahead for agribusiness and the world? “The assumption that everyone will have something to eat is increasingly built into the rhythm of life,” writes The Economist. Food security ought to...

  • Australian dairy farmers need your help – here are some tips to get the most out of your purchasing power.  The Australian dairy farmers’ price crisis Just before the end of the last financial year, Australia’s largest dairy producer, Murray Goulburn, announced they would be cutting...

  • Space food – vegetables grown on Mars – is in the realm of possibility, an experiment by Dutch scientists has proven. Radishes, peas, rye and tomatoes are capable of thriving in the Red Planet’s soil without soaking up heavy metals that would be harmful to humans. Other...

  • This completely automated robotic lamb processing plant in Bordertown, South Australia, is an incredible innovation. Created by Scott Automation & Robotics in conjunction with JBS and Meat & Livestock Australia, the processing plant is a marvel. It aims to revolutionise butchery operations. The machine uses...

  • Coffee grounds are being saved from landfill and turned into a breeding ground for mushrooms. Earlier this year, Ryan Creed and Julian Mitchell, both fly-in, fly-out mine workers, launched a crowdfunding campaign to tackle coffee waste creatively. Since February, the pair has successfully diverted three tonnes of...

  • Following the cattle trade ban five years ago, the live export industry is reporting animal welfare improvements across the Asian region. But there is still work to be done. In 2011, the Australian Federal Minister for Agriculture, Joe Ludwig, imposed a trade freeze on live...

  • The Good Beer Co’s Great Barrier Beer invites Australians to bond over a brew to save our reef. At least 50 per cent of profits from sales of Great Barrier Beer will go directly to the Australian Marine Conservation Society. While dedicating a portion of...

  • After World War II, Winston Churchill lamented that the whole map of Europe had changed with the exception of Northern Ireland which remained in conflict. In Australia, the higher education map has changed yet the regions remain marginal. Since 2008, university enrolments have risen 30...

  • Young Victorian farmers may soon be able to borrow a cow from a more established dairy farmer in an effort to assist them to get into the industry. United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) said it was planning to set up a ‘cow loan’ scheme which...

  • There is huge market potential for Australian growers when it comes to supplying pulses to developing countries, according to an industry expert. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization this week held the 2016 International Conference on Pulses for Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture in...

  • The federal government has issued a reminder that foreign investment is critical to the development of Australian agriculture, particularly in the nation’s north. Speaking at the Global Food Forum hosted by The Australian in Melbourne today, the Federal Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia,...

  • Last week, I received an email from a reader who shared with me that his 12-year old granddaughter was recently shown a CNN Student News video in her sixth grade classroom about ingredients in livestock feed. Watch the full clip here. While much of the information...

  • The skilled graduate must become the most important outcome of research training in Australia – as it is in many other parts of the world – urges a new report by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA). The findings from the ACOLA review of...

  • AGRICULTURE delivers great long-term returns compared to many other investment alternatives – but first you have to see past the snake oil salesmen, dodgy farm profit calculations and false assumptions about global food shortages. Nor should investors assume big-budget corporate farms are more capable of...

  • The number of farmers in Australia might have fallen dramatically over the past two decades but agricultural degrees are back in vogue. As Australian agriculture enters a new growth phase, universities have seen a revival in interest in agricultural studies from students without farming backgrounds...

  • There probably isn’t a manager alive today who isn’t dealing with disengaged employees of some kind or another. Whether it happens slowly or all at once, watching a person fall out of love with their work can be hard. We talk a lot about engagement...

  • Having the power to move and monitor animals from a smartphone might soon be a reality for farmers. Virtual fences are a potential game-changing technology for farmers, giving them the ability to move and contain cattle digitally without the use of a physical fence. The...

  • Grape growers and winemakers on Queensland’s Granite Belt say this year’s harvest will be the best in decades. It is a dramatic turnaround on last year’s pickings when many crops were decimated by severe storms. “Our fingers have just come uncrossed now,” Sam Costanzo of...

  • Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across the agriculture sector. From February 10, 2016 the initiative will provide women in the agriculture sector with grants for leadership development. More specifically, grant applications are open to...

  • CEOs know the landscape has changed dramatically and continues to do so. That’s simply part and parcel of doing business today. They understand they have to be aware of, and effectively manage, a much broader group of stakeholders than their predecessors ever had to contend...

  • In a small lecture theatre at the CQUniversity campus in Bundaberg, Dr James Underwood is giving a presentation about his work capturing images of mango, macadamia and avocado trees. The researcher from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics mounted a robot called Shrimp with a...

  • EVAPORATIVE cooling systems are being used in South Australian vineyards as part of a project to protect grapes during heat waves ahead of harvest. The project is using under-canopy sprinklers in the Riverland and Coonawarra wine regions to cool vineyards at night during heat waves...

  • Australia’s Coalition Government has announced its plans to expand the CSIRO’s decision support system for agricultural transit and infrastructure investments. The TRAnsport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TRANSIT) aims to inform transport infrastructure investment decisions across the agriculture sector. Australia’s Agriculture supply chains consist of distances...

  • NSW Farmers has committed $20,000 to tertiary scholarships for students committed to agriculture and rural communities. Eligible students have until February 29 to apply for one of five scholarships valued at $4000 each. NSW Farmers scholarships chair and Walcha farmer Sonia O’Keefe said the association’s...

  • The business landscape looks vastly different now than it did 20, 10, even five years ago, and organisations have to do more and be more to stay afloat in an agile and rapidly changing environment. Boards and CEOs have to look beyond the horizon and...

  • We all know that the internet and Social Media has changed the face of Recruitment. It allows fast and worldwide distribution of job ads, as well as drastically increasing the speed of the connection between recruiters and high potential fit talents. However, studies and testimonies...

  • Have you ever thought about the role that Australia’s livestock industry plays in alleviating poverty in developing nations? Australians generally don’t think about where the origin of our food because for us, food is a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’. We don’t know what it...

  • This month’s release of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Annual Climate Statement confirms the dominant influence of El Niño on Australia’s climate during 2015, with warmer than average temperatures recorded across the country. Rainfall was well below average in southwest Western Australia, southeast South Australia, western...

  • WHILE opportunities in trade apprenticeships have slowed in the mining sector, agricultural opportunities are increasing, said Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA, agrifood labour and skills consultant Jackie Jarvis. “As vocational students have finished school there is a huge pressure for them to get into...

  • It has clocked up over 1.46 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded earlier this month and has gone viral on social media, but not everyone is happy with the latest lamb ad from Meat and Livestock Australia. The ad features SBS newsreader and social...

  • In a recent strategy meeting we attended with the leaders of a Fortune-500 company, the word “culture” came up 27 times in 90 minutes. Business leaders believe a strong organizational culture is critical to success, yet culture tends to feel like some magic force that...

  • Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor … What are the most in-demand jobs for 2016? None of those for a start. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that admin and support services roles have been growing continuously since November 2014, with 36,000 new jobs...

  • It’s a joke, right? Who wouldn’t want to take a break? A surprising number of people, it turns out. FOTAL – Fear Of Taking Annual Leave – is a thing. A new survey of 1250 Australians found that two-thirds suffered from FOTAL and didn’t use...

  • A $410 million crowdfunding campaign is being pitched to self-managed super fund investors in a bid to keep S Kidman and Co, the country’s largest landholder, majority Australian owned. Self-described “fractional property investing platform” DomaCom has structured the proposed deal based on a valuation of $400 million to $410 million....

  • Everyone looks forward to their workplace Christmas party. It’s a great chance to reflect on the year that was, to show appreciation for colleagues and to unwind. For some people, it’s the only opportunity they have to mingle with and impress people higher up the...

  • AS farm sector businesses look to ramp up sales overseas, the feedback from China suggests the new free trade agreement (FTA) has significantly boosted Chinese attitudes to Australian business opportunities. About 97 per cent of Chinese company officials interviewed in a blind study by the...

  • Cyclical drivers are currently favouring South Australia’s food sector, and this BankSA Trends report shows the longer term outlook is also positive. With continued population growth, there will be growing demand for food from the domestic market, and demand for more health and premium foods...

  • THE Turnbull government’s $1.1 billion new national innovation and science agenda has included an agriculture and regional focus. The ambitious new program was released last week by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne, at CSIRO in Canberra. Deputy Prime Minister...