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Issue 12, December 2012/January 2013

Minor Use Chemical Permits Coles to comply with olive oil standards

ISSN-6008

The rise of microbreweries Exploring camel milk Tropical sea urchin presents new possibilities


Inside

Visit our website www.nria.org.au

A word from the Editor...................................................................... 5

&& Get the latest news on NRIA. && Learn all about the new rural industries. && Access links to industry associations and organisations. && Read profiles of producers. && Access to articles on subjects common to all involved in new rural industries. && Access to conference presentations and papers. && Join NRIA as a subscriber or member.

NEWS

NRIA Project – Minor Use Chemicals ........................................... 6 Award for quinoa pioneers.............................................................. 6 Lychee from Taiwan and Vietnam................................................. 7 Rising price of imported oil levels the playing field for local producers ................................................... 7 Pirate bug sucks life out of crop pests......................................... 7

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The rise of the microbreweries....................................................... 9

http://twitter.com/#!/our_NRIA

Tropical Sea Urchin presents new possibilities........................ 9

&& Stay in touch with the latest information and news. && Share insights into new rural industries. && Stay informed. && Find and follow others with similar interests and enterprises.

Coles to comply with olive oil standards..................................10

Click here to subscribe to our magazine!

Suspension of Fenthion................................................................... 11

www.nria.org.au

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Alpaca shearers selling invention overseas.............................10 Illegal sandalwood trade still growing in WA.........................10 Carbon Farming Iniative non-Kyoto carbon fund.................10 Boost rangeland goat production.............................................. 11 Translated Resource.......................................................................... 11

PROFILE 1

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CAMEL MILK.........................................................................................12 Debra Corbett of Camel Milk Australia

COLLABORATION

What is surveillance? .......................................................................14

The magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 1 October 2010

NRIA Conference and Expo 2010

ISSN 1838-6016

Producing a product successfully Tax and Primary Production Collective Marketing – what are the choices?

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The magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 4 June/July 2011

14 Global “Worming” Irrigation practices & systems Agritourism: Connecting communities

contents

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R&D for new rural industries adding value through the supply chain Southern Cross Plant Science provides expertise and facilities for crop science, horticulture and forestry: Agronomy • Plant nutrition • Plant and soil mineral analysis • Plant propagation – High quality growth and controlled environment facilities – AQIS registered plant importation – Partnerships for grow-out trials and data analysis Genetic selection and intervention • Molecular markers and genomics supporting breeding and selection • Identifying and introducing novel traits

Germplasm choice • Exploring and exploiting genetic diversity – Optimising quality – trait characterisation – Cultivar differentiation – matching cultivar to growing environment • Native crop characterisation End-use properties • Analytical phytochemistry – TGA licensed – Active compounds, authentication, stability testing • Physical testing of raw materials • Pilot scale extraction facility • Human and livestock nutrition

Working with you to improve plants and other natural products Southern Cross University is a regional university with campuses at Lismore, Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. The University is active in teaching and research aimed at promoting the development of primary agricultural production, rural economies and agribusiness. This includes cultivated and native plants, forestry, fisheries and other marine products.

Contact us at W: scu.edu.au/scps E: research.scps@scu.edu.au and/or graham.king@scu.edu.au T: 02 6620 3356 SCU2024


Do you grow or sell wildflowers as cut-flowers? • Get connected. • Improve yield and returns. • Network with others. • Develop the market. • Stay informed. WildFlowers Australia Ltd is the industry body for wildflowers. We exist to build the industry and help all on the supply chain. www.wildflowersaustralia.com.au

Australian TRUFFLE GROWERS ASSOCIATION

The voice of the industry STANDARDS QUALITY INNOVATION DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH

Soft, warm, lightweight, luxurious fibre 12 natural fleece colours - no dying required Soft padded feet minimize damage to soils For more information visit our website:

www.alpaca.asn.au

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Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 2012


A word from the editor Welcome to our next issue of Passion to Profit magazine. Well as my father would always say – the silly season is almost upon us again. Christmas is rapidly approaching and with it are the stresses of personal life and enterprise. People often find themselves at the end of the year in an exhausted heap on the couch, finding it hard to get motivated to do much of anything. Having worked long hours to sow, harvest, manufacture and sell their product (of whatever kind), some start to focus more and more on themselves, on problems, on the backlogs of work that still have to be done, and feel overwhelmed by it all. In work, of whatever nature, your attention is routinely riveted on objects which are usually, at most, only a few feet from you – ie. your computer, the financial books, machinery, etc. What tends to happen is that even after you finish your day and head home to relax – your attention is still on the issues of work, on the problems, the work still to be done, or on situations that are unresolved. You head home and watch television, or read the paper, or collapse on the couch. Even though you are not at work, you are still immersed, and attention is fixed on it. This Christmas – take a little advice. Take a walk. Stretch those legs and get your attention off your work and onto your local environment – whether that is just walking around the block, or heading for some local hills, or exploring the perimeters of your property. Look out. Look around. Observe what is about you. And just keep walking. In doing this you will find you will become a little brighter, and then get VERY tired. Keep yourself walking just a little more, and keep on looking out, and you will find yourself moving more and more upscale. As your attention comes off yourself, your work and life problems, you will find that things don’t look quite so difficult. You will find that there is a little skip in your step. And you will find that when you lay down to sleep that night, you will have a deep and restful slumber, awakening relaxed, refreshed and with a new outlook. Try it this Christmas – and may you have a bright and prosperous New Year. Enjoy the magazine. Lana Mitchell Editor

COVER Photo:

Camels at Camel Milk Australia in Queensland. Photo courtesy of Deb Corbett.

Passion to Profit

the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia ISSN 1838-6008

Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia, is published online every three months, free of charge. It is sent directly to subscribers and members of New Rural Industries Australia as well as to new rural industry peak bodies and allied industries. Subscription

and Membership to NRIA available at www.nria.org.au. All rights reserved. New Rural Industries Australia Level 27, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria 3000, Australia. Advertising: For advertising rate card contact and all ad bookings, email advertising@nria.org.au. Editor: Lana Mitchell. lana@nria.org.au Editorial Contributions are welcome and should be emailed to the editor. Designer: Cheryl Zwart of Orphix Publisher: Get communicating Pty Ltd for New Rural Industries Australia ISSN 18380-6016 (On-line) Copyright: No material published in Passion to Profit may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the New Rural Industries Australia. Disclaimer: The publisher reserves the right to refuse any application considered inappropriate. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written permission of New Rural Industries Australia. Whilst every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within the magazine, the publisher, printer and their agents cannot accept responsibility for error or omission. Views held by contributors are their own and do not necessarily coincide with those of the publisher or editor.

lana@nria.org.au Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 20125


NRIA Project – Minor Use Chemicals There has been an ongoing NRIA project to register new Minor Use chemical permits for a number of new rural industries. Our last update we had all submissions with the APVMA and were awaiting response. Recently the APVMA responded to all applications and a number of minor use chemical permits have been approved. The details are: 1. The period for all of the new permits is for two years only, until 30 Sep 2014 2. In a number of cases no additional data are required. For others, residue data are required to be generated during the period of the permit. In both cases we will need to reapply in two years. By crop the specifics are: Coffee–1 application only–Oxyfluorofen for Blackberry and nightshade control–no additional data Date Palms–Diuron–not approved; Sprayseed– approved no additional data required; Fluazifop, Glufosinate, Glyphosate and Pendimethalin– approved but additional residue data required. Green tea–Fluazifop, Glufosinate, Glyphosate and Sprayseed–approved with additional data required Herbs and Spices–Fluazifop–not approved; Trifluralin–approved with additional data required Industrial Hemp–Fluazifop, Glyphosate, Pendimethalin and Trifluralin–approved, no data required

Wildflowers–Glufosinate, Glyphosate, Oxyfluorfen, Sprayseed and Simazine–all approved with no additional data required The Southern Cross University is working closely with NRIA on this project and will be developing a service contract to provide the additional data in time for the renewal submissions in June 2014. A meeting will be occurring in early 2013 with all interested parties to ensure that all methods are established and the people in place. Overall this project is a great example of how cooperative work, cross industry, can have a superb benefit for new and emerging industries.

Award for quinoa pioneers The farming couple who pioneered the growing of the ancient South American food crop, quinoa, in Australia have been rewarded with the Tasmanian Organic innovation award. Henrietta and Lauran Damen, from Kindred Organics in north-west Tasmania, grow a range of grains including spelt, linseed, wheat and quinoa. The inaugural award by Organics Tasmania sets out to celebrate innovation in agriculture during the Year of the Farmer. Once the Damens mastered how to grow the unusual crop, they then set out marketing it direct to health food shops. “Most innovation comes from small businesses, that’s why I think you have to encourage small business to grow,” Henrietta said. Source: ABC Radio

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Jojoba–Diuron–not approved; Fluazifop, Glufosinate, Glyphosate, Imazethapyr, Linuron, Sprayseed, Pendimethalin, Simazine and Treflan– all approved with no additional data

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Native Foods–Glufosinate and Glyphosate– approved with additional data required; Sprayseed approved with additional data required from a herb leaf crop such as anise myrtle, lemon myrtle and native pepper Native grass seed crops–Diuron, Fluazifop, Imazethapyr, Pendimethalin, Simazine–not approved; Glufosinate, Glyphosate, Linuron, Sprayseed–approved with no additional data; Trifluralin–approved with additional data required for weeping grass Olives–Sprayseed–approved with no additional data required Tea tree–Glufosinate, Imazethapyr and Oxyfluorfen–approved no additional data required Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 2012


DAFF has recently issued a draft report that it is considering approving future imports of lychees from Taiwan and Vietnam. Import policy for fresh lychee fruit from China and Thailand was developed in 2004 and consequently Australia allows the import of fresh lychee fruit from these countries, subject to specific quarantine conditions. A preliminary assessment of pests/diseases of fresh lychee fruit from Taiwan and Vietnam has not identified any new pest or disease types that were not assessed during the import risk analysis for fresh longan and lychee fruit from China and Thailand. DAFF is stating that the importation of lychees from these two new countries should not pose significantly different quarantine risks, or require significantly different management measures than those already in place. The impact on the domestic lychee industry is said to be minimal. Potential export of fresh lychee fruit from Taiwan and Vietnam would be between May and July, compared to domestic production available from October to March. The new draft report on importing lychees from Taiwan and Vietnam, is open for stakeholder comment until 1 February 2013.

Rising price of imported oil levels the playing field for local producers Wholesale prices for extra virgin olive oil have soared 60 per cent since July, peaking at a twoyear high of $3641 a tonne last month. It comes after forecasts the world’s largest producer (Spain) would be down 600,000 tonnes when the crop is harvested this month. The Spanish drought could take a 20 per cent bite from global production in 2012. Australian consumers, who pay an average $10 a litre for imported extra virgin olive oil, would see prices rise by 25 to 30 per cent in 2013, analysis suggests. Australian Olive Association chief executive Lisa Rowntree said Australian extra virgin olive oil, traditionally more expensive than imported product, may now be able to better compete on local supermarket shelves.

While the industry has trebled production to 16.5 million litres a year since 2005, it is still a tiny part of global production. But a fall in available good quality oil might translate to more dilution of product, Ms Rowntree said.

Pirate bug sucks life out of crop pests A species of tiny insect, notorious for its painful bite, has proved useful to vegetable and flower growers in the fight against crop pests. According to AUSVEG spokesman Cameron Brown, the miniature pirate bug is a gruesome predator– piercing its prey to pump in saliva that then dissolves the contents, so they can be consumed. “With a ruthless temperament, it is a new tool for growers to substitute chemicals for softer production strategies,” said Brown. The 3mm insect, also known as Orius armatus, is named the pirate bug due to a large bite disproportionate to its small size. Brown said that deploying the bug in capsicum crops had dramatically reduced the need for growers to use chemicals. “Orius armatus eats both the larvae and adults of western flower thrips, an insect known for damaging crops by both feeding and laying eggs on the plant,” he said. A joint study between Manchil IPM Services, the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia and Biological Services has shown that purpose-bred species of miniature pirate bugs can effectively control western flower thrips in crops. The project aimed to investigate the efficacy of integrated pest management in the Australian vegetable industry in an attempt to find alternatives to pesticide-based strategies against western flower thrips. Brown said that through implementing IPM strategies, growers found that once the flowering season began they did not have to spray at all, in striking contrast to the typical one or two times a week. “IPM is beneficial as it allows growers to mitigate some use of chemicals in their production cycle. The benefits will also extend to growers’ back pockets, as the produce they grow can be sprayed less frequently,” he said. Source: www.kondiningroup.com.au

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Lychee from Taiwan and Vietnam

Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 20127


Full Membership is open to producers and distributors of essential oils and plant extracts and to producers of plant material for the production of essential oils or plant extracts. Associate membership is for researchers, consultants, regulators and other interested parties.

www.eopaa.com.au

For more information please contact mohair@mohair.org.au

National Peak Body representing the

Olive Industry The Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (ATTIA) supports and promotes the responsible use of pure Australian tea tree oil. Formed in 1986, ATTIA is the peak body for the Australian tea tree oil industry. Stay informed about pure Australian tea tree oil. Phone: 02 6674 2925

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Email:

secretary@attia.org.au

Web:

attia.org.au

of Australia Stay informed about the Australian Olive Industry Visit our website to find out more

fresher tastes www.australianolives.com.au

Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 2012


A microbrewery, or craft brewery, is a modern brewery which produces a limited amount of beer, usually with an orientation toward distinctive and flavourful products. In Australia there are now microbreweries specialising in ciders, sour beers, kosher beers, and handcrafted beers. Many of these are based on similar products that have been common place around Europe’s warmer climates, or in the British Isles. With beer consumption in Australia at a 50 year low and mainstream beer manufacturers suffering a drop in sales, micro-breweries have noticed a gap in the market and working over-time to fill it. Interest in high-quality craft beer is gaining momentum and as a result, production is increasing. According to brewer Will Tatchell, his production has increased from less than 30,000 litres each year to more than 100,000. Tatchell explained that craft beer is currently the only sector of positive growth in Australia’s beer making industry. “More and more micros are popping up, and they’re getting bigger and bigger all the time,” supplier Sandy Ross said. Craft beer consumption in Australia has continued to rise, and currently accounts for about one to two per cent of the total beer market. Once a favourite for beer elitists, specially-brewed beers have flooded the market with a wide range of hops, syrups and flavours being sourced from all around the world. Woolworths has recently signed a 3 year contract with a craft beer company, and small breweries are also expected to feel the pressure as Coca-Cola Amatil announced they will move towards expanding into the premium beer market. CCA is currently subject to a restraint not to sell, distribute or manufacture beer in Australia until 16 December, 2013. However, an agreement with the Australian Beer Company will see CCA lend up to $46 million to the company which will be used to assist with the acquisition and expansion of brewery near Griffith, NSW. CCA’s group managing director, Terry Davis said, “This new agreement with Casella will give CCA the opportunity to access a world class, low cost brewery which will enable us to re-enter the premium beer market in Australia after 16 December 2013 with sufficient initial manufacturing capacity to cater to approximately 15 percent of the premium beer market in Australia. However, the decision does not seem to be scaring away the niche crafted brewers from entering the market. Craft beers are here and growing rapidly. Source: Manufacturers Monthly

Tropical Sea Urchin presents new possibilities Sea urchins roe or corals, are culinary delicacies in many parts of the world. In cuisines around the Mediterranean, one type of sea urchin is often eaten raw, with lemon. It is also used on Italian menus in pasta sauces, to flavour omelettes, fish soup, mayonnaise, béchamel sauce or Hollandaise sauce. In Chilean cuisine, the sea urchin is served raw with lemon, onions, and olive oil. In Japan, sea urchin is known as uni, and its roe can retail for as much as $AUD 9 per live sea urchin or up to $AUD 1000 per kilogram for roe (Tsukiji, Japan, Sept 2010). It is served raw as sashimi or in sushi, with soy sauce and wasabi. Japan imports large quantities from the United States, South Korea, and other producers. Tripneustes gratilla, a fast growing tropical sea urchin, is native to both Australia and Japan. T. gratilla has a high aquaculture potential and has established acceptance in the high value Japanese sea urchin market. Recent breakthroughs in the larval culture and settlement techniques for Tripneustes gratilla at the National Marine Science Centre (NMSC) at Southern Cross University have enabled commercial quantities of sea urchin spat to be reliably produced. This has created an opportunity for sea urchin aquaculture research in Australia to be expanded to a commercial scale, providing information directly relevant to creating a profitable and sustainable sea urchin aquaculture industry for Australia. This one-year project will establish key culture parameters (e.g. stocking densities, physiological tolerances, growth rates) essential for modelling the economic potential of the culture of Tripneustes gratilla in a land-based aquaculture system. This information is an important prerequisite for attracting commercial interest and funding for further development of a sea urchin aquaculture industry within Australia.

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The rise of microbreweries

Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 20129


Coles to comply with olive oil standards

Illegal sandalwood trade still growing in WA

The Australian Olive Association (AOA) has applauded supermarket chain Coles for moving to fully comply with the Australian Standard for olive oils by the end of 2012. All imported and locally-sourced Coles brand olive oils will meet the standard.

As Passion to Profit has reported earlier, an illegal trade of Australian sandalwood is flourishing in Western Australia. It is a trade that supplies hungry Asian markets that cannot get enough of the spicy, sweet-smelling timber and are prepared to pay $15,000 a tonne for it.

The standard defines different grades of oil, including extra virgin, and details the testing methods which can be used to ensure that products for sale are what they claimed to be on the label. This is good news for consumers who according to our research are still often confused and misled by old labelling methods, said AOA chief executive officer, Lisa Rowntree.

Since March last year more than 170 tonnes of illegal sandalwood–worth $2.5 million–has been seized by authorities. A government-regulated quota system is supposed to ensure only 3,000 tonnes of native sandalwood is removed each year, but even the WA Government admits it does not know how much timber is being stolen.

“Consumers will now have the opportunity to choose between extra virgin olive oil or olive oil, with misleading terms `pure’ and `extra light’ removed from the shelf.

Sandalwood oil finds its way onto our shelves as perfumes, incense, moisturisers and make-up. The industry believes most of the illegal timber makes its way into Asian markets, but questions have been raised about the local supply of sandalwood oil.

Extra virgin oil is the naturally produced juice of fresh olives, while products labelled olive oil are made from a blend of refined and virgin olive oils and do not carry the same health benefits or flavours.

Carbon Farming Initiative non-Kyoto carbon fund

Alpaca shearers selling invention overseas

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has released a discussion paper on design options for the Carbon Farming Initiative NonKyoto Carbon Fund (the Non-Kyoto Carbon Fund) for public comment.

Tasmanian shearers Tony Arnol and Glen Boyd have invented a shearing frame to shear Alpacas. The frame has been a hit and the two are now selling it to Alpaca shearers on the mainland and getting interest from overseas. They hope to use their invention to change the way the world shears Alpacas.

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One of their clients is the Hobart vet James Harris, who has an Alpaca farm in the foothills of Mount Wellington.

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“I think it’s a brilliant invention. It allows the shearing process to be efficient, quick, safe for the animal, safe for the operator, and really limits and almost completely prevents injury to the animal.” Called the Portable Animal Restraint, the frame has proven and paid for itself many times over. After many seasons of struggling whilst carrying out the task of shearing alpacas, the shearing frame is an animal friendly restraining device with a self centring floating action whist restraining, and a floating movement if the animal struggles. For more information, go to taspar.com.au

The Non-Kyoto Carbon Fund is one element of the Australian Government’s $1.7 billion package of land sector measures under the Clean Energy Future Plan. The Fund will provide $250 million over 5 years from 2013–14 to: • encourage investment in non-Kyoto abatement activities (that is, activities that reduce emissions or store carbon, but do not currently contribute to Australia’s emissions targets), and • promote innovation and learning-by-doing for a range of non-Kyoto activities. The Fund will be administered by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. The purpose of this discussion paper is to seek stakeholder views on the design of the Fund. This consultation process will inform the development of draft program guidelines, which will be published in 2013 for further stakeholder input. Final program guidelines will be released prior to program commencement. The paper can be found at: http:// www.climatechange.gov.au/government/initiatives/ carbon-farming-initiative-non-kyoto.aspx

Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 2012


Boost rangeland goat production The Australian goat meat industry has experienced strong growth over the past 20 years with over 1.5 million goats now processed annually. More than 90% of total goat meat production is derived from rangeland-type animals (goats that escaped into the wild in the late 1700’s and have evolved into the unique Australian rangeland goat), while the balance is produced by more intensively managed meat, dairy and fibre goat production systems. Australia is the largest exporter of goat meat and live goats in the world, exporting 19,000 tonnes of meat per annum to approximately 25 countries, and 50,000 live goats to 15 countries. Major markets have traditionally been the US and Taiwan for meat and Malaysia for live export. To support further growth in the rangeland goat industry, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has recently released a new tool, the Going into Goats: A practical guide to producing goats in the rangelands. The guide has been developed by producers for producers. It identifies the specific production issues that influence productivity and profitability and details the processes and procedures that producers use to maximise the potential of their enterprises. The focus is on key issues, so that producers can learn from other producers’ experiences and there are 20 case studies, illustrating the key issues covered. You can access the guide at www.mla.com.au.

Suspension of Fenthion Fenthion is a pesticide that has been used in horticulture and home gardens to control a range of insects, such as grasshoppers, fruit fly and codling moth. It has been applied to fruit and vegetables that host fruit fly as an interstate quarantine treatment to limit the spread of fruit fly within Australia. The

APVMA has recently announced there is a proposal to suspend Fenthion on the basis of short-term dietary risks. The APVMA has recently completed a residue and dietary assessment as part of its review of Fenthion. The assessment found that the use of the pesticide on many crops left residues that could exceed the relevant public health standard. For more information on the Fenthion suspension, and on other chemical alternatives for fruit fly, please go to http://www.apvma.gov.au/products/ review/current/fenthion_faq.php.

Translated Resources There are a number of translated fact sheets available through the NSW Dept of Primary Industries website that are useful for any grower:

Keep it clean for field vegetables This multilingual factsheet series has been produced to provide a practical guide to help you to economically and effectively use preventative strategies to manage pests in your crops. Also available are multilingual case studies. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Khmer and Vietnamese.

Market gardeners This series of 10 factsheets covers a range of topics relevant to market gardeners, from development applications to erecting sheds to organic production. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Khmer and Vietnamese.

Water use and chemical spraying A series of factsheets covering water quality and efficiency, safety, and chemical spraying issues. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Khmer and Vietnamese.

Compost factsheet series This series of factsheets explains what compost is, how to make it, the benefits of composting as well as methods and systems. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Khmer and Vietnamese.

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Debra Corbett Camel Milk Australia Camel Milk & Camel Oil Day Lotion & Night Cream; Camel Milk & Camel Oil & Silk Soap; Camel Oil Lip Balm; Camel Oil Baby Balm; Camel Milk, Camel Oil & Silk Soap (Pet Soap)

Background: Our property “Bindanoon” is 1656 acres located 3 kilometres from Blackbutt, in South Burnett Queensland. My husband, Stan and I were primarily stud beef producers and then 7 years ago we purchased 11 camels to co-graze with our Drought-master herd for weed control. We now have 25 camels including a mating bull and our enjoyment in raising camels has increased significantly. We sell at Nanango Markets, a few select local festivals, and also online.

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Some 2 years ago I began researching camel milk and was amazed at the healing qualities when consumed regularly. That led me to testing the healing qualities when used externally on the skin in soaps and lotions, and the anti-bacterial properties of camel milk proved to be just as amazing when applied to the skin. Camel’s milk can be used successfully for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, melasma, sunburn, burns age spots and acne.

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Well documented properties of camel milk include: • Ten times more iron than cow’s milk. • Five times more vitamin C than cow’s milk. • Rich in B vitamins. • High in immunoglobulins. • High in protein 5%. • High in minerals. • Low in fat (1.8%). • Low in cholesterol. • Antibacterial. • Anti-viral. • Anti-inflammatory. • Lactose 4.8% • Six types of fatty acid including lanolin acid. Our camels produce an average of 5 litres milk per day, and still feeding a calf. Lactation lasts up to 18 months or until the mother is mated again, with milking done two or three times a day. We currently hand milk and the plan is to introduce mechanical milking machines. All our camels come to us from the wild as adults with babies or in calf. Usually they have had little or no human contact until they had been mustered and trucked to us, so our first action is to get them yarded for the first 2 months, to help them get used to being around us. With our normal daily routine of milking and cattle work happening around them, they quickly become accustomed to us. With that in mind they really are amazingly trusting and well behaved, we treat them with the usual caution but to date have not had any bad experiences with handling.

Q. What inspired you to get involved in a new rural industry?

It was just a curiosity of the camels that led me to researching their milk and deciding to get involved in the industry.

Q. What have been the pitfalls you have overcome? How?

Establishing camel products has been an interesting journey. I applied goat milk or cow milk recipes to the items I wanted to make, and made up some trial batches. It was then a job to solve the problems associated with using fresh camel milk (the water content of camel milk changes all Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 2012


the time, so regardless of quantity used, no two batches of any recipe would be the same). I learnt how to solve those problems, and others relating to milking and milk storage, through research, contacting experts overseas, and also attending a three day camel conference in Oman. Vegetation is a major issue that we identified for camels. While camels do consume lots of weeds and appear to not be fussy eaters, there are some weeds that are extremely toxic to them. It is really important to get these identified. Setting up the commercial dairy is an ongoing learning process, with the health procedures that need to be followed being exactly the same as a bovine dairy. The difference is the bailing area which has to be made to accommodate a large animal and facilitating their particular natures (keeping in mind they are a very intelligent animal and need to be treated with kindness).

Q. What do you consider your successes? What do you attribute these to?

Any success we have is due entirely to our camels and their amazing healing qualities. Their products sell themselves, once I formulated the recipes the properties in the milk and oil shine.

Q. What are 5 tips you could give others in new rural industries?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Use your local outlets. The Council Information Centre is a good start. Local markets are a great way to get local people using your product regularly. Be prepared to give away a lot of product. Online selling, promote your website on all your business advertising. People like to hear the story of your business, contact your local Rotary, Probus, CWA, any local groups and offer to be a guest speaker, and set up your products for them to try.

Q. What is your future vision for your business?

Our future vision is the completion of our commercial Camel Milk Dairy, to be able to provide this healing milk to our Australian market. Australian Dromedary Camels are the only camels in the world that known to be are disease free and genetically pure. www.camelmilkaustralia.com.au

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Hand milking has also enabled me to learn a lot about my camels. Once used to the milking routine they become very attached, forming

a close relationship similar to that of a dog. Highly intelligent they respond quickly to kind patient treatment. We have found that for such a large animal they like to be treated very gently, responding to the slightest touch. If your intention is to milk a camel you must start your relationship with her the minute she comes off the truck – and everything you do is to build that trust in her.

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What is Surveillance? By Dr Sandra Baxendell PSM, BVSc (Hons), PhD MACVSc, GCertAppSC(RurExt), GCertPSectMgt, PGDAppSc, MRurSysMan

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hen most people hear the word surveillance, they think of detectives in parked cars with cameras and binoculars. However, in agriculture, it means something rather different. Surveillance is all about detecting diseases in plants and animals. There are two types: • Targeted surveillance • General surveillance

illustrate this dramatically as it is possible to map movements to and from a location over a specific period of time. For this reason if Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was ever (heaven forbid) diagnosed in Australia, a Stock Standstill will take effect and this means no cloven hoof animals allowed to be moved. No livestock could be moved for a short period of time until the extent of the outbreak was investigated.

Targeted surveillance is about detecting one or more specific diseases e.g. checking the brains of older cattle and sheep with nervous signs for the presence of Bovine Spongiform Encehalopathy (BSE), also called mad cow disease, to demonstrate Australia’s freedom from this disease. Another example is testing bat colonies for the presence of Hendra virus to predict potential exposure of horses to this virus. It could also be targeted for a specific region e.g. Cape York peninsular for the diseases that could enter from Papua New Guinea.

So what does this mean for new rural industries in Australia? Currently targeted surveillance program for BSE (mad cow disease) only pays for veterinary post-mortems and producer incentives to sheep and cattle producers who provide older animals with nervous diseases. Goat owners are not eligible, even though goats can get both BSE and scrapie. However most state veterinary laboratories do not charge to rule out exotic diseases, so at least the laboratory tests should be waived or reduced.

General surveillance is about looking at all possible causes of clinical signs, deaths, illness or diseases, without any one specific disease in mind. This is essential in picking up any new or emerging diseases such as SARS or Hendra virus. Many of our trade partners require Australia to have a good system of practitioners (vets and agronomists) and diagnostic laboratories so they can be reassured that new or exotic disease will be identified and reported.

Why do Surveillance? Surveillance in agriculture is done for a number of reasons. These reasons include: • To detect new diseases early enough to allow for the best chance of eradication, especially for exotic diseases for Australia) • To prove to Australia’s overseas markets that Australia is free of certain diseases • To justify the import control that Australia has on imported animals and plants or their produce. • The sooner a new disease is identified, the sooner a vaccine or effective treatment can be developed e.g. with swine flu a vaccine was developed in a few months. In animal industries, diseases are more rapidly spread as animals can be transported long distances. The National Livestock Identification System can

Currently the whole surveillance programs of states and the federal government is under review with a series of national meetings arranged to look at general surveillance. One of the stated reasons is to target resources towards the greatest risk. This is generally a good idea to link resources to risks. Australia’s prosperity is linked to it beef exports and the cattle industry and hence exotic diseases of cattle will be considered the major risk and where to target limited resources. Protecting the alpaca industry will not be considered worth the investment of government resources. This means new industries need to be extra vigilant themselves.

What does this mean for New Rural Industries? Many government agriculture and other departments are downsizing world-wide. So what do new rural industries need to do if government departments concentrate their resources on major industries? The DOOR concept will work for minor industries. DOOR stands for Do Our Own Research and this concept was started in the plant nursery industry. DOOR means that each small rural industry owner does their own research using proper scientific techniques and shares their results with the rest of the industry. Large companies e.g. some cotton companies, do their own research as they are large enough to arrange their own trials. New industries will lack the numbers to get

Passion to Profit – the magazine of New Rural Industries Australia Issue 12 – 2012


Those lucky enough to live near a University should take the time to develop a relationship with their agriculture or veterinary school. You need to know their teaching dates and the key contacts. They need samples such as dead animals for pathology practical sessions for students to investigate or observe. Similarly they need diseased plants for teaching plant pathology. Diseases on your farm generally don’t go away by themselves, even if you bury the bodies or destroy the plants. The sooner you know what you are dealing with, the sooner you can manage or eradicate it. The alpaca industry in the United Kingdom (UK) knows all about this as they are currently suffering an outbreak of Bovine Tuberculosis or TB. One infected alpaca herd had 400 test positive out of 46 animals and all animals were then culled. Tracing then identified 25 herds in the UK that needed to be placed under restrictions and also tracings went to 3 countries in Europe. Earlier identification of TB in this herd would have reduced the heartache to many other alpaca breeders. If you find a dead animal, then it is best to get a professional post-mortem. Your local veterinary surgeon is your first person to call. Even if you are

pretty certain what the cause was, you can learn a lot about your animals from a post-mortem e.g. what types of parasites, what mineral deficiencies are present. There is a standing joke amongst vets; veterinary pathologists can always find the correct diagnosis and suggest the correct treatment – but they just get there too late i.e. after the animal had died. If you can’t afford a post-mortem, then at least inspect the outside of the body carefully (wearing gloves and protective clothing) and take some photos and keep good records (i.e. animal’s age, weather, season, any change of husbandry). If you are unlucky enough to have several deaths then post-mortems are essential and you will have wished you had done one for the first death. Animal Health Australia (AHA) recognizes that some producers do not have the financial resources to undertake professional veterinary investigations. You could be eligible for a subsidy. Contact the National Significant Disease Investigation coordinator in your state and if you meet the criteria then your veterinarian could be paid to undertake the investigation by AHA. More information is available from this website ie http:// www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/programs/ disease-surveillance/national-significant-diseaseinvestigation-program/ including the names and contact details of the state coordinators. Minor animal industries are eligible for this program as well as wildlife. So ask your veterinarian to contact the state coordinator.

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statistically significant results on their own. But if they share the results then the research trails can produce results that can be relied upon. Like employee unions, there is strength in numbers and there is always power in information.

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