Crop losses from labour shortages hit $39m

Original article by Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: Online : 8-Jan-21

The updated National Crop Loss Register has revealed that farmers have lost at least $39 million in crops as a result of labour shortages due to the pandemic and closed international and domestic borders. Berries accounted for 55 per cent of losses, while Queensland recorded the worst losses among the states. Richard Shannon from Growcom, which runs the Register for the National Farmers Federation, says urgent action is needed to expand capacity to safely bring in Pacific Islanders and East Timorese into Australia to take up job offers. Shannon also says the agricultural sector needs to reduce its reliance on backpackers.

CORPORATES
GROWCOM, NATIONAL FARMERS’ FEDERATION LIMITED

China devours one-third of all our farm exports

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 5 : 20-Aug-20

Data from Rabobank shows that China accounted for 32 per cent of Australia’s food and agricultural exports in 2019-20. China also bought 30 per cent of Australia’s lamb exports and 25 per cent the nation’s beef exports during the financial year, while it accounted for 77 per cent of wool shipments. Tim Hunt of Rabobank warns that Australia is too reliant on a single export market, particularly given the recent tensions between the two nations. He notes that while China has been the major driver of the agribusiness sector’s growth over the last decade, there is a need to diversify into other export markets.

CORPORATES
RABOBANK AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Survey reveals catastrophic damage to productive land

Original article by Ean Higgins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 15-Jan-20

An analysis of satellite mapping data by Digital Agriculture Services has highlighted the impact of the bushfires crisis on the agricultural and forestry sectors. DAS has revealed that almost one million hectares of prime agricultural land in the bushfire zones have been burnt, as well as some 1.6 million hectares of logging forests and tree plantations. DAS also notes that the bushfires are largely in areas that have been hard hit by the drought. The analysis only covers bushfire zones in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

CORPORATES
DIGITAL AGRICULTURE SERVICES PTY LTD

‘Bittersweet’: agricultural exports reach record high amid stock sell-off

Original article by Ean Higgins
The Australian – Page: Online : 17-Sep-19

Australian agricultural exports reached a record high of $50.7 billion in 2018-19, according to Rural Bank’s Australian Agricultural Trade report. Agricultural commodities to record growth in 2018-19 included cotton, diary, sheep and wine, while commodities that declined in value included seafood and wool. Beef recorded the biggest rise in export value growth, up $1.9 billion to $12.3 billion. However, Rural Bank described this growth as ‘bittersweet’, it being a reflection of farmers not able to feed all their stock because of drought and therefore having to sell some of them.

CORPORATES
RURAL BANK LIMITED

Trade truce fears for local farmers

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Jul-19

The US and China have indicated that they will resume trade negotiations, with President Donald Trump stating that China had agreed to buy a "tremendous amount" of US agricultural produce. This has prompted concern among Australian officials that such purchases could be at the expense of local farmers, along with fears that the US and China could strike ‘side deals’. However, despite the concerns about agriculture, there was overall relief in Australia that China and the US have agreed to keep talking about their trade differences and that Trump did not impose any more tariffs on China.

CORPORATES
UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Face climate truths: farmer’s plea to PM

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 14-Aug-18

Drought-affected grain and cattle farmer Peter Mailler says it is time for the federal government to have a honest debate about climate change, rather than trying to undermine the science behind it. Mailler recently had to send pregnant cows to the abattoir because he did not have enough grain to feed them. He says that unless the government is prepared to tackle climate change, it should not "pretend to champion" farmers who are affected by drought. He accused some politicians of trying to give the electricity sector a "free kick" on carbon emissions reduction, while at the same time expecting farmers to reduce their emissions output.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Turnbull considering more drought aid

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 7-Aug-18

The federal government is likely to offer more assistance to drought-impacted farmers, as it looks at ways to help farmers adjust to a climate that is becoming hotter and drier. Short-term assistance that the government can offer could include helping to pay for the high cost of fodder transportation, while longer-term measures could include assistance with on-farm water storage and other infrastructure, including the possibility of tax write-offs. National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Mahar says subsidising crop insurance would also help farmers.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL FARMERS’ FEDERATION LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, RABOBANK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NEW SOUTH WALES FARMERS ASSOCIATION

Super sows seeds in agriculture

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 18 & 22 : 12-Mar-18

Hostplus chief investment officer Sam Sicilia says the $A700 billion industry superannuation fund sector wants to boost its investment in agriculture. However, it does not want to do so in an ad-hoc fashion, such as by acquiring individual dairy farms, as investing in this fashion yields lower returns than from other investments, such as infrastructure. He says that the sector is thinking of setting up a joint investment company that would have the backing of major industry funds.

CORPORATES
HOST-PLUS, VICSUPER PTY LTD, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FIRST STATE, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, RETAIL EMPLOYEES SUPERANNUATION PTY LTD

Spitting chips: workers accuse potato giant of ‘wage theft’

Original article by Anna Patty
The Age – Page: 4 : 6-Jul-17

The National Union of Workers has warned that extending the industrial award for farm workers to people who work in packing and storage sheds could result in wage cuts of up to eight per cent. Potato grower Mitolo Group has applied to the Fair Work Commission to have the scope of the Horticulture Award broadened to include non-farm gate workers, but the NUW argues that such staff should be covered by the Storage Services Award.

CORPORATES
MITOLO GROUP PTY LTD, NATIONAL UNION OF WORKERS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Scene set for Kidman bidding war

Original article by Kylar Loussikian, Sue Neales
The Australian – Page: 4 : 28-Oct-16

Directors of S. Kidman & Company have endorsed a $A386.5m offer for the pastoral business from Gina Hancock’s Hancock Prospecting and China-based Shanghai CRED. However, the BBHO consortium has signalled that its $A386m offer could potentially be increased. The Hancock-Shanghai CRED deal must be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board, and Rinehart has indicated that Hancock will acquire full ownership of Kidman if the joint bid is rejected. BBHO has emphasised the all-Australian nature of its bid.

CORPORATES
S KIDMAN AND COMPANY PTY LTD, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, SHANGHAI CRED REAL ESTATE STOCK COMPANY LIMITED, BBHO, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ONE NATION PARTY, NICK XENOPHON TEAM, GLOBAL FARMLAND FUND, SHANGHAI PENGXIN GROUP COMPANY LIMITED