NORTH EAST AND GOULBURN MURRAY
Part of the Farmer Group Rural Newspapers Covering Victoria Published since 1984
37 Rowan Street, Wangaratta 3677
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Wine tax untouched in budget Agricultural industry spared harsh ¿QDQFLDOFXWVLQµWRXJKORYH¶PRYHV
'DLU\FRPSDQ\DGGVPLOOLRQ µFUHDP¶WR&REUDPPLONEXFNHW DEVONDALE Murray Goulburn’s $91 million investment in its Cobram facility (above) will deliver state-of-the-art technology for processing and packaging a range of dairy foods destined for Australian and Asian consumers. The Cobram investment is a
large portion of a $127 million capital investment and part of the company’s five-year plan to rejuvenate its manufacturing and supply chain infrastructure in the key product areas – nutritional powders, cheese and liquid milk. Among the investments will be a $74 million injection
toward building a world-class cheese cut-and-wrap facility at Cobram in the next 12 to 18 months. An additional $17 million will be spent to optimise capacity for nutritional product manufactiuring, enabling DMG to produce a wider range of high-value foods.
THE wine industry breathed a sigh of relief as wine taxes were left untouched by the Federal Government’s tough budget, as high exchange rates, a consolidated retail sector and a high cost base continue to plague local producers. Winemakers’ Federation of Australia chief executive Paul Evans said a recent industry review revealed very low levels of proﬁtability across the wine sector and many cases of local businesses operating below cost despite Australia producing “a truly globally competitive” product.
BY JODIE FLEMING
“The last thing the Australian wine industry needs right now is a tax hike and the federation has advocated strongly on this matter, so we welcome the fact that common sense has prevailed in Canberra,” Mr Evans said. The wine group had set out an action plan to maintain the sector’s global competitiveness that would boost profitabil-
ity through a global marketing strategy. “This plan recommends responsible reform to the (wine) rebate to ensure it continues to deliver its original policy intent of supporting small and medium wine businesses and regional communities,” Mr Evans said. “These measures include stopping New Zealand winemakers from claiming a rebate of up to $500,000 every year for the wine they sell in Australia – and this is an opportunity for reform the Federal Government must not delay further. Continued page 3
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Page 2, North East Farmer
Whatâ€™s happening in the North East and Goulburn Murray area *LIMITED places are available for the NSW Tablelands and surrounds farm tour 2014 that will take place on Wednesday, June 11 to Friday, June 13. Sponsored by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, BestWool
BestLamb and the Federal Government, topics to be covered include grazing, cropping, soil management, erosion management, herd flexibility, farm business management, recycling nutrients and waste materials through
livestock movement and composting and lifting production. Costs will include accommodation and some meals, with the bus leaving Benalla at 8am on Wednesday, June 11 and returning in the evening of June 13. For more information contact Norm Tozer on (03) 5792 1139.
Eezee Shelters & Stables Ph: 9449 5777. Fax: 9449 5788 Mob: 0407 545 927
Carports, Floats, Boats, Caravans, Trucks, Stock, anything. www.eezeeshelterandstables.com.au
*THE Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is holding its 2014 Victorian Agriculture Conference and Expo at Expo Hall, Melbourne Showgrounds on Thursday, June 12 and Friday, June 13. The conference and expo will look to the future as part of the VFFâ€™s annual conference, themed â€˜Trade, Investment and Opportunitiesâ€™ for the future. For more information visit www.vff.org.au. *THE Grassland Society of Southern Australia Inc. is holding its 55th annual
Covering North East Victoria, Southern New South Wales and Goulburn Murray Valleys
conference at Ballarat Lodge, Ballarat from Tuesday, June 17 to Thursday, June 19. Themed â€˜Whatâ€™s driving your pasture business?, conference presentations start on Wednesday, June 18 and will cover pasture, productivity and livestock management drivers. Alongside guest speakers, presentations and tours of local farms and research sites, the conference will also feature a comprehensive trade display area with a wide range of exhibitors to cater to producers. For more information email office@grasslands. org.au. *THE Australian Fodder Industry Association (AFIA) together with Murray Dairy is hosting a free â€˜Fodder in Dairy Workshopâ€™ on Thursday, June 19. The workshop will provide useful information as well as create networking opportunities for those involved in the fodder
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Bill Michalowski Phone (03) 5723 0134 Fax (03) 5722 9778 firstname.lastname@example.org
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NOTE: All advertising and editorial content in this issue is the copyright of North East Newspapers Pty. Ltd., and cannot be used without the companyâ€™s permission. The group editor, Jeff Zeuschner, accepts responsibility for election comment. Printed and published by Brian Hartley Higgins for North East Newspapers Pty. Ltd. (ACN 006 238 277) at the registered office, 37 Rowan Street, Wangaratta, Victoria 3677.
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JULY 18-20: Australian Sheep & Wool Show, Bendigo AUGUST 4-5: Hamilton Sheepvention 6-7: Mallee Machinery Field Days, Speed 15-17: Border RV & Camping Expo, Wodonga SEPTEMBER 7: Finley Show 5-14: Royal Adelaide Show 20-Oct 1: Royal Melbourne Show 23-25: Henty Machinery Field Days 27- Oct 4: Perth Royal Show 30-Oct 1: Horsham Show
For more information on country shows visit www.vicagshows.com.au or www.countryshows.com.au. and dairy industries. Dairy farm consultant Geraldine Perkins will speak on the importance of fodder quality in optimising productivity and Tom Acocks will speak on the crucial role fodder plays in his large scale dairy business. Charlie Williams will discuss the many issues associated with large scale fodder production. The workshop will also include visits to two prominent farms in north central Victoria. The workshop will commence with morning tea at 9.30am at Riversdale farm near Rochester and conclude with lunch at 1pm at Jenharwil Baling Elmore. For more information contact Caitlin Scholfield on 0417 962 991. *THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) pig and health research unit is offering graduate veterinarians the opportunity to undertake a refresher course in pigs on Thursday, June 19 and Friday, June 20. The course run on Thursday, June 19 will be held at DEPI, corner
ON THE SPOT
*DAIRY farmers, or those eyeing a career in the dairy industry, are invited to attend a business workshop in Shepparton on Tuesday, June 24, run by The Centre for the Study of Rural Australia at Marcus Oldham College. The workshops, to be facilitated by respected dairy industry consultants, John Mulvany and Phill Shannon, is targeted at young dairy farmers, dairy farm employees or sharefarmers, and will step participants through the physical and financial issues related to growing a successful dairy business. These workshops will also include tips from
DEADLINES: Please contact the NE Farmer ofďŹ ce
ČžĘ‘ČˇĘ‘QWÉĄ $ĘœÉ¨ĘŁÉ”É‡É?Â–Ę‹ĘœÉ¨ČžHĘĄĘŚĘ– É“ÉĘ™Č˛Ę‘QÉ˘ DÉ &XVWĘ?É™Ę?ĘŚÉľÉ¸É˘IĘ?É H 461 Wagga Road, PO Box 5039 Lavington NSW 2641
,É‘LÉ˘FĘ‹Éš ČŠÉ?Ę?ĘŚÉľÉ¸É˘Ę?É¨ Ę‹Ęœ\Ę?Č¸É?Â– LÉ˘FĘ‹ÉšČŠÉ? Ę?ĘŚÉľÉ¸É˘Ę?É¨ 0DÉ‹-DÉ‹ M: 0419 322 015 P: 02 6040 8452 F: 02 6040 8334 E: email@example.com www.macjacsheds.com.au
Bill MICHALOWSKI Jodie FLEMING
of Midland Highway and Taylor Street, Epsom and on Friday it will be held on-farm in Bendigo. This course is relevant to veterinarians who live in the vicinity of pig-owners and who wish to up-skill on their knowledge of all things pig. There is no charge for the course and any accommodation costs will be met by DEPI. For more information contact Trish Holyoake on 0419 231 534.
Farm Sheds Commercial Industrial Sheds
ÂŠ 2003 PP34662600022 The North East and Goulburn Murray Farmer takes all care in compiling specifications, prices and details but cannot accept responsibility for any errors. All prices are correct at time of printing and are subject to change without notice. No material, artwork or photos may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. Letters to the editor may be shortened because of space considerations. Every effort is made to preserve the context of letters.
the team at Marcus Oldham Collegeâ€™s EntruBIZ program on how to develop entrepreneurial skills and how to adapt and capitalise on change. The workshop will be held at the Shepparton RSL from 10.30 am to 3pm (cost $30, lunch included). For details and bookings phone (03) 5243 3533 or email reception@marcusoldham. vic.edu.au.
COUNTRY SHOWS AND FIELD DAYS
*THE DEPI veterinarians are seeking sheep brains to be tested as part of the National transmissible spongiform enephalopathies (TSEs) surveillance program. The brains will be used to test for proof of freedom from TSE and livestock producers who supply them are eligible for payments of $100 each. To be eligible, sheep need to be 18 months of age or more (but not more than five years) and display at least two clinical signs compatible with â€˜scrapieâ€™ â€“ the form of TSEs seen in sheep. For more information visit www. animalhealthaustralia. com.au/programs/ biosecurity/tse-freedomassurance-program/ national-tse-surveillanceprogram. *THE 2014 BestWool/ BestLamb conference will be held in Bendigo on Tuesday, June 24 and Wednesday, June 25. The conference dinner will be held on the evening of June 24, with a full day of conference proceeding the following day on June 25. For more information visit www.depi.vic.gov. au. *NOMINATIONS for the Australian Farmer of the Year awards are now open. There are 12 award categories and an overall Australian Farmer of the Year award who is chosen from the award category winners. The awards are judged on innovation, sustainability and overall contribution to the Australian agricultural sector. Award categories include Livestock Producer of the Year, Young Farmer of the Year and Fibre Producer of the Year. A celebratory dinner will be held on Wednesday, September 10 in Melbourne. Entries close on Friday, June 27. Nomination forms are available at www. farmingahead.com.au/ FarmerOfYear.
North East Farmer, Page 3
Ag flys under budget radar Â„ From page 1
BUDGET 2014 AT A GLANCE
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WINE RECOVERY: Winemakersâ€™ Federation of Australia chief executive Paul Evans said the federation will continue to work with government on developing a responsible wine tax reform package that will help the industry.
the governmentâ€™s commitment to developing key infrastructure projects in regional Australia. â€œGiven that the money for infrastructure is a direct result from a rise in the fuel excise, itâ€™s important that this is directed to projects that are most needed, and that regional Australia beneďŹ ts,â€? Mr Tuohey said. â€œIf the funding is raised in the bush, it needs to stay in the bush.â€? Horticulture growers and other users of specialty chemicals will gain $8 million towards getting more of these chemicals to market in Australia with the funding of a minor use program. â€œWeâ€™re also pleased to see the governmentâ€™s $100 million election commitment to agriculture speciďŹ c research and development over the next four years â€“ but a major concern is the signiďŹ cant slashing of $11.5 million over four years to Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).â€? Another area of concern for the VFF is the $146.8 million cut from CSIROâ€™s budget, with an estimated 500 jobs to go. According to Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) president Noel Campbell, the government has struck a difďŹ cult balance between the need to ďŹ nd savings and the ability of the agricultural sectorâ€™s future, including dairy, to grow and prosper.
â€œThe dairy industry understands this was always going to be a tough, no-frills budget with little in the way of major new spending initiatives in agriculture,â€? Mr Campbell said. â€œPleasingly, however, the government has delivered some key priorities for the dairy industry, while also honoring commitments to support drought affected farmers and provide additional rural research and development funding.â€? The ADF were pleased with the governmentâ€™s re-commitment to the â€˜Roads to Recoveryâ€™ and â€˜Black Spotâ€™ road infra-
structure programs which will have a positive beneďŹ t for dairy farmers who rely on local roads being well maintained so that milk and cattle transporters can easily and safely access their properties. Other areas that ADF were happy with includes the $15 million funding to support small exporters in sectors where there are speciďŹ c export certiďŹ cation registration changes, the $20 million funding to strengthen Australiaâ€™s biosecurity and quarantine arrangements and the $8 million to improve access by farmers for minor use agricultural and veterinary chemicals.
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liaâ€™s national and international environmental priorities and obligations. Victorian Farmersâ€™ Federation (VFF) president Peter Tuohey was disappointed that ongoing funding for the National Centre for Farmer Health which is based in Hamilton has been ignored. â€œItâ€™s unfortunate to see that both state and federal governments have abandoned this institution,â€? Mr Tuohey said. â€œThis is a service we will continue to lobby for in the lead-up to the Victorian state election in November.â€? The centre was set up in 2008 by the previous Labor Government to provide agricultural health services and training directly to farmers and rural health and agricultural professionals and includes the Sustainable Farm Families Program. However, the VFF has welcomed the governmentâ€™s decision to keep the diesel fuel rebate. â€œThere were rumors ďŹ‚ying around Canberra that the federal budget would deliver a 10 per cent cut to the diesel fuel rebate. â€œBut the Federal Government increased the excise and the rebate in line with inďŹ‚ation twice a year. â€œIt means farmers will retain the full rebate on the diesel fuel excise, which is a huge win for all Australian farmers.â€? The VFF also welcomed
â€œTaking this measure alone would provide signiďŹ cant annual savings of at least $25 million to the Commonwealth which could help fund the additional marketing activities we need in the wine sector to re-engage global consumers and recapture market share. â€œThe federation will continue to work with government on developing a responsible wine tax reform package that will help the industry during a difďŹ cult period of transition and recovery,â€? he said. In what could have been a lot worse for the agricultural sector, the tough budget delivered by the Federal Government has left those on the land fairly unscathed despite the major funding cuts to Landcare. The major funding cuts to Landcare may trigger a major refocus on land conservation works within the North East. Landcare management programs have been stripped back by $484 million. Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said that $300 million has been allocated to establish a Green Army of 15,000 young people to undertake Landcare works. The program will support 250 projects in 20142015, 500 projects in 2015-2016 and 750 projects in 2016-2017. North East Landcare stalwart Pat Larkin said the change would make a â€œhell of a lot of difference to Landcareâ€? and his main concern was to what degree conservation projects were carried out. â€œAs long as the innovations of Landcare are continued such as revegetation, stream management, along with salinity and erosion reversal programs, the Green Army could be a good replacement,â€? he said. â€œSoil health development programs have also been very useful. â€œIâ€™m not surprised funding has been reduced for Landcare, as there have been cuts across the board with the budget.â€? The Green Army will consist of Australians aged 17 to 24 years to gain training and experience in environmental and heritage conservation ďŹ elds. They will be able to explore careers in conservation management, while participating in projects that generate real beneďŹ ts for the environment. Green Army teams of 10 will be deployed across the country to help communities deliver local conservation outcomes. Projects will be guided by local community needs and contribute to Austra-
Page 4, North East Farmer
No complaints in sowing wet April rain and further good falls in May – now the wheat’s emerging INSIDE THE FENCE with Murray Gilby
WHAT brilliant opening rains for the farming community. We had 100 millimetres during April followed by a further 32 millimetres during the ﬁrst 10 days of May. Our sowing program has suffered a few delays, mainly waiting for stubble paddocks to dry enough to spray and sow, but we aren’t complaining. Our wheat program has now been completed and we are starting to see plants emerging. The wheat has been sown on canola stubble that has been boarded ﬂat, and this has allowed earlier emergence than would otherwise be expected. We have had to use a different strategy with the barley paddocks. There has been a heavy covering of grasses and broadleaf weeds, so we decided to spray with
MURRAY GILBY, with wife Denise and son Colin, farm a 700 hectare cropping property at Kotupna, 30 kilometres east of Echuca. The farming enterprise includes cropping canola, barley and wheat, along with an agricultural contracting business, supplying customers with all their cropping needs.
knockdowns ﬁrst to obtain a good kill then spray Stomp or Treﬂan before sowing. This ensures that the second application of spray will hit the ground and not be held up by the lush growth. We also hired a disc chain that we used over 200 hectares to work down growth and level out lumps of stubble from last year’s sowing program. About 120 hectares of this 200 will be sown to peas. This year, besides our TM Agricultural biostimulant program, we are trialling a new Best product called TM Germinator. This is applied direct
to the seed before sowing. TM Germinator is designed to help create early vigor in the crops by having the nutrients readily available because they have been directly applied to the seed. We have had a hectic few weeks with the transport side of things even as we try to get the sowing under control. Grain and Milk Maker have been ﬂying along the highways. What looks to be a quiet week, quite often turns into a busy one – all it takes is a phone call or two. I can usually mange to help out for a few hours each day, so between us we are getting things done.
LINKS: Beechworth’s Karen Nankervis (left), Myrrhee’s Cheryl Graham, Stanley’s Colette McNeill and Trish Curtis at the Connecting Rural Business Women conference in Beechworth in May.
Women network BEECHWORTH business coach and project manager Kristy Howard has encouraged women in rural and regional areas who are starting their own enterprises to keep an eye on small jobs and contracts as aids to cashﬂow. The agricultural scientist told participants at the 2014 Connecting Rural Business Women conference in Beechworth that she set out ﬁve years ago to share her skills with like-minded entrepreneurial women who were raising families. Dr Howard – a meat and livestock specialist who has subse-
quently worked in farmers’market development and devising rural marketing strategies – said that she had survived in a developing consultancy business, based in Beechworth, but that a young family had changed her approach. “I set out to work to inspire people to achieve excellence in all aspects,” Dr Howard said. She said that this involved encouraging individuals and communities to move from “the safe to the scary” – challenging people’s abilities to do more. Dr Howard was one of the key
workshop speakers at the conference. It attracted almost 100 women from regional Victoria, New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland. The opening keynote speaker was Gold Coast-based media and communications specialist Karen Phillips. The conference – in its fourth year – was ofﬁcially opened by Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) by video. Ms McGowan was visiting Papua New Guinea.
North East Farmer, Page 5
ON-FARM TRAINING COURSES helping farmers earn the most from their property
Mr James said one of the great
AN effective way to deliver agricultural courses on-farm is what
aspects of the course is that it is
has driven Andrew Boyd and the
not costing him a lot of money
team at Agricultural Training Services
as he “grasps” some aspects
to ensure some great success
of the business which includes
spreading. “The course has helped with the
Agricultural Training Services, together with Wodonga TAFE, is
core part of the business which is
delivering a new model of farm-based
transport and spreading.
training that helps people achieve
“It has really helped with carting
Certificate III and IV in Agriculture
fertiliser and being able to offer some
saving participants time and money.
knowledge and advice to our clients.
Agricultural Training Services trainer and assessor, Andrew Boyd
AGRICULTURAL TRAINING SERVICES
of the soil tests that properties undertake and know what the farmer
said that his love for agriculture and 15-year experience – 10 years
“We can also now interpret some
undertaking a Certificate IV in
“To undertake some specific
“One of the great things about this
is talking about and know exactly
owning and running a dairy farm and
training like AI normally can be quite
Agriculture with Agricultural Training
course is that you can pick courses
what they want and need, and we
five years in cattle and sheep farming
expensive, but we offer an affordable
Services with Andrew Boyd as his
that mean something to me and
know what is available that will benefit
- has helped him to be able to deliver
way to do those courses and as far
trainer and said that not only is
my job and what suits our business
better and more extensive training to
as I am aware, we are the only place
Andrew a “friendly bloke” but he is
instead of being stuck with a set
that offers you a pregnancy testing
knowledgeable and able to give great
course filled with subject that you are
the pasture management side of
pointers on how to help the farming
never going to need.
things and the very next day we
“We actually train people on-farm so they can achieve Certificate III and
enterprise be more profitable and
“We can also incorporate short
IV in agriculture and we get industry
courses that include truck licencing, a
experts in to cover all the different
chemical users’ course and all types
types of ag study,” Mr Boyd said.
of other relevant courses,” he said.
“We also have the ability to go off-farm
Scott James who works on a
efficient. “Andrew came out and talked to my
“Just the other day we started
“There is just so many things to
implemented the techniques we had
farming that I never would have
learnt, so you get quick returns for
known about like animal husbandry,
the time and effort you put in.
boss and us about how the course
AI, pasture and soil management and
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the good thing is you get the right
eyes to how they can make more
“The course really opens people’s
to other appropriate facilities for courses
cattle farm at Whiteheads Creek –
trucking business we also run,” Mr
information on how to tackle all these
money off their property,” Mr James
that cover artificial insemination.
10km east of Seymour – is currently
things,” he said.
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Page 6, North East Farmer
Scholarship opens farmer’s eyes By JODIE FLEMING BRYCE Riddell never would have anticipated the opportunities that have come his way after being awarded a prestigious Nufﬁeld Scholarship two years ago. The Yarrawonga farmer comanages his family-run business consisting of a commercial Angus cattle herd and lucerne and oaten hay production. The family also run a lucerne cubing plant also based in Yarrawonga, where they produce both lucerne hay cubes and a range of other hay cubes for domestic and export markets. After seeing one of his neighbors awarded a Nufﬁeld Scholarship, Bryce “kept track of what he was up to” and decided that when applications were open again he would throw his hat into the ring as he had some ideas he wanted to look into regarding agriculture on a global scale. The 29-year old has used his scholarship to investigate alternative hay crops and value adding for the hay industry. “I always believed that there was more to the export hay industry than what we had already seen, and it was an industry in which I had been brought up with domestic hay production, not so much the export side,” Bryce said. “When I was awarded my scholarship I spent considerable months making contact
WORLD-CLASS HAYMAKER: Nuffield Scholarship recipient Bryce Riddell said he could never have anticipated the opportunities winning the scholarship has allowed him to undertake.
with hay growers, seed producers, hay processors, hay users and also hay importers in other countries.” After completing a six-week travel program with fellow scholars, Bryce embarked on his own studies by identifying key areas of export hay production around the world. “When I undertook my personal studies after the Nuf-
ﬁeld Global Focus Program, I travelled to countries including the US, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia researching my study topic. “I could never have anticipated the opportunities the scholarship has allowed me to undertake, the knowledge I have acquired and also the people it has given me the
privilege to meet,” he said. With some assistance from the Australian Fodder Industry Association in Australia and the National Hay Association in the US, Bryce travelled to the US where he met up with many exporters and large hay growers that inspired him to expand his view on what the goals for the family farm were. “Our view was always to be
one of the highest quality and highest regarded hay exporters, and someone said why don’t you aim at being one of the largest as well.” Nuffield Australia is an organisation that provides opportunities to Australian farmers between the ages of 28 and 40 to travel the globe investigating a research topic important to them and Austral-
ian agriculture. Becoming a farmer was not always a for-gone conclusion for Bryce, although he grew up on the family farm situated just out of Yarra Glen where his father grew lucerne hay. In the mid-nineties, his family purchased 1600 acres in Yarrawonga, following up with a further 1100 acres in Mulwala. Having headed off to study banking and ﬁnance in Melbourne, his responsibilities pulled him back to the farm to help during the drought. During that period his father passed away, leaving the running of the farm to his mother, his brother and himself. “I always had planned on ﬁnishing it (his studies) but when you get wound up in a business that you enjoy it’s harder to get back to studying,” he said. Bryce said that going through the experience of vying for the scholarship was “character building” but it was receiving the scholarship that actually opened his eyes and broadened his mind with what he could actually achieve. “The best thing about being a farmer is the opportunities and every day challenges farming presents. “The downside is that an event that happens on the other side of the world can impact on what we do here and also on your bottom line.”
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SUPREME SUMMIT: Hayden Green, Summit Limousins, Mittagong, exhibited Summit Payday H28 to supreme exhibit of the 2014 Limousin National.
Business Health Check for Rural Producers Introduction This one day workshop is presented by the Agriculture Farming division of GOTAFE. The purpose of this event is to explore topics to promote that sound agricultural practices, tackle future challenges and leave an enhanced industry for the next farming generation. The workshop is specifically designed to facilitate engagement with local industry, utilising local people and expertise within agriculture. A range of topics and activities linked to building stronger business outcomes will be covered on the day. Mansfield When: Monday July 14th Time: 9.30am -- 3.30pm Where: Delatite Hotel Mansfield Key Features of the Event: The event will provide the opportunity to: Â‡ (QJDJH LQ D SRVLWLYH DQG LQWHUDFWLYH VHULHV RI training sessions linked to improved business planning and viability. Â‡ /LVWHQ WR DQG OHDUQ IURP D UDQJH RI NH\QRWH speakers. Â‡ 'HYHORS D EHWWHU XQGHUVWDQGLQJ RI KRZ WR VHW realistic targets for your business. Â‡ *DLQ XVHIXO WRROV DQG WLSV WR LPSURYH \RXU business performance. Â‡3DUWLFLSDWHLQVPDOOHUJURXSDFWLYLWLHVGHVLJQHG to maximise learning. Â‡ 5HILQH \RXU EXVLQHVV SODQ WKURXJKRXW WKH GD\ and at the end of each session. Unit of Competence: %6%56.$ Â˛ ,GHQWLI\ ULVN DQG DSSO\ ULVN management processes
What to Expect on the Day 9.30am - 10.00am 5HJLVWUDWLRQV7HD &RIIHH
10.00am - 10.30am,QWURGXFWLRQ 2YHUYLHZRIWKH'D\ %XVLQHVV+HDOWK&KHFN 10.30am - 12.20pm *URXS5RWDWLRQV 12.20pm - 1.00pm /XQFK 1.00pm - 3.20pm *URXS5RWDWLRQV 3.20pm Where to from here? 3.30pm &ORVH COST $60 Eligible and $75 ineligible Group Rotations The program features four keynote speakers and skilled facilitator Stuart Warner who will take participants through a range of topics and activities linked to building stronger business outcomes. The participants will be split into groups for rotations across the day covering all of the following key subject areas: Â‡7DNLQJFRQWURORI&RPPRGLW\0DUNHWV" :KDW DUH WKH PDUNHWV WHOOLQJ XV QRZ 0U 5REHUW +HUUPDQQ$J&RQFHSWV
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Limousin and Hereford champions win Wodonga Competitive turn out bucks autumn sales trend THIS yearâ€™s Wodonga National Show and Sale has proven to be a successful exercise for both Limousin and Hereford breeders, with the awarded champions for both breeds posting top sales prices. The Limousin breed bucked the autumn sale trend to post a decade high average of $21,000 at the show and sale held at the Wodonga stud stock exhibition. The sale drew 96 registered buyers from ďŹ ve states competing on live and genetic lots from 24 vendors from NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Overall, a total of 67 lots were sold from 80 offered for a gross of $326,920 (an average of $4879). Sale committee chairman John Gaffney described the sale result as â€œmagniďŹ centâ€?, conďŹ rming the average was the highest for the past decade. â€œLimousins are on the turn â€“ that was helped by the market lifting in Wodonga and the weather conditions changing in the past month,â€? Mr Gaffney said. â€œTo have senior bulls averaging
nearly $6000 was excellent as bulls are our income earners,â€? he said. Landmark AuctionsPlus sales manager Tim Bayliss agreed, having said the sale average had bucked the trend posted by other breeds. â€œIt came down to reduced numbers and good orders for commercial bulls â€“ stud bulls went well too,â€? Mr Bayliss said. â€œBidding was a little soft in the heifers towards the end, but the bulls went against the trend of all other nationals. â€œWhen you have good stud interest in the top end and great commercial interest, you have yourself a bull sale,â€? he said. Mr Bayliss said the breed had addressed the important economic traits. â€œMost cattle are polled, they have been softened up and with bigger testicles â€“ the breeders have done an awesome job and that deďŹ nitely showed.â€? The top selling bull ensured a grand slam for Hayden Green of Summit Limousins in Mittagong, who also took out supreme exhibit
with his Sydney Royal grand champion bull, Summit Payday H28. The 910kg apricot and polled son of Summit Noble Magic powered his way through the classes to win senior and grand champion bull, and supreme exhibit. Summit Payday H28 scanned at 13 millimetres (mm) on the rump, 8mm on the rib, a scrotal circumference of 37 square centimetres (sqcm) and packed an eye muscle area of 155 sqcm. The sale of Summit Payday H28 was a personal record for Mr Green, who also topped the female lots with Summit Real Magic selling for $12,000 after taking home the titles of junior and senior champion female and grand champion female. Mr Green said Summit Real Magic was reserve junior champion as a heifer at Melbourne that they have now ďŹ‚ushed for a few years. â€œHer ďŹ rst natural calf sold to Flemington Limousins at last yearâ€™s National,â€? Mr Green said. â€œI never came to the National with expectations, just hopes and dreams.â€?
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Don’t overstock is the best advice for Mansfield farmer
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GIVE our readers a quick snapshot of your farm at Mansfield. I farm cross bred sheep for fat lamb production and a few cows, with some foxes, deer and some crows too. I make some money out of some of them and a loss from the others. I do fertiliser application to get the grass to grow and the rest is up to nature and politics. It is a real possibility that I might make more money out of shooting foxes next year given that lambs and cattle could be worthless seeing what happened when the Gillard Labor government banned our market of cattle into Asia two years ago. We could have a fire, flood or drought - these are manageable, and can be dealt with according to severity, but the government is too unpredictable and my biggest threat to viability. How long have you been a farmer? I am the fourth generation farming on the same property. I intend passing on the land I have been charged with looking after to the next generation, and promise it will be in as good or better shape than I received it. Tell us about your family. I am recently divorced, and have four boys to keep tabs on. The eldest, Josh, is an apprentice mechanic, with Tom, Edward and Patrick still in high school. Best advice or farming tip you have received? Don’t overstock. A good few is better than a few good.
FARMER TO FARMER Brendan Mahoney
Describe your perfect day. Catch a couple of foxes in the traps, see some newborns, lambs or calves just born, have the poddy calf wag her tail when I feed her, and shoot a crow. And talk over the fence about all the problems or highlights that are current. What is the best thing about being a farmer? We eat well and have the best environment to work in, can get a bit harsh at times but that just makes the good times better. What is the worst thing about being a farmer? The lack of government understanding of our business. If you could be someone else for a day, who would that be and why? The Prime Minister. I would - with the stroke of my biro - double the price of meat right across Australia to farmers to counteract when Julia Gillard and Labor halved it! Remember that the price of meat did not move in the retail outlets. It did not halve when farmers were being paid half, rather the profit margins in the supermarkets just doubled. Time for pay back.
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FAMILY FARMING: Rabobank’s Peter Knoblanche said the Farm Managers Program will give young farmers the business tools to succeed.
regard to running the enterprise in future.” He said that farm succession is not just an issue for the farming families involved but it has a direct and longterm impact on future food production. “We need farmers to run our farms. “In Australia and New Zealand – and certainly in other countries in the world – most farms are family-run operations, owned and operated by one family and often passed down from generation to generation,” Mr Knoblanche said.
“The ‘family’ in family business is the source of its greatest strength and potential for its greatest downfall. “Addressing this issue properly for the future sustainability of these operations is key.” Rabobank Australia and New Zealand is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking, with this year’s Farm Managers Program, now in its ninth year, modelled on the bank’s Executive Development Program.
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A KEY focus of this year’s Rabobank Farm Managers Program that is to be held this month at the Grange Cleveland Winery in Lanceﬁeld is the pressing issue of farm succession. The program – which is designed to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of tomorrow’s farm leaders will cover succession planning for farm businesses, alongside a range of topics including leadership, business planning, and ﬁnancial and economic management. Rabobank group executive country banking Australia Peter Knoblanche said the Farm Managers Program is an excellent platform for young farmers looking to step up and take on more responsibility with their operations, giving them the conﬁdence to add value and have impact on-farm. “There comes a time in many families when the younger generation begins to integrate into the family farming business, taking on more responsibility with management decisions,” Mr Knoblanche said. “The aim of the program is to support the younger managers and provide them the business knowledge and tools to succeed. “With succession planning a big focus for many agricultural families, and being the International Year of the Family Farm, the Farm Managers Program is a great opportunity to focus on succession and ensure the next generation is in good stead to manage the challenges ahead with
North East Farmer, Page 15
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VFF launches rates petition THE Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has launched an online petition to reduce inequitable farm rates. VFF president Peter Tuohey said the petition is something every farmer, rural person and supporter of food and fibre producers should sign. “Victoria’s farmers’ shoulder 46 per cent of the rates assessed on businesses in regional Victoria, but only make up around 12 per cent of regional businesses. “How is that fair? he said. “That’s why we are calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the fairness
and equity of the local government rating system in rural and regional areas. “We have to find a fairer way to apply rates to farmers.” Mr Tuohey said regional Victoria’s municipal rating system was unbalanced, unfair and needed to be reviewed. “Last year we saw council rate rises of up to 15 per cent for farmers, which came on top of repeated, unsustainable rate rises. “Councils risk rating farmers off the land,” he said. The petition can be found at www.vff.org. au.
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Agribusiness feels painful budget cuts IF this budget is about ‘sharing the pain’ then unfortunately the agribusiness sector is going to cop its fair share. According to RSM Bird Cameron senior accountant Maxine Vale, there were a number of key budget measures announced that will directly impact the agribusiness sector. “Farmers will be pleased to hear the diesel fuel rebate has been retained although the re-introduction of the biannual fuel excise indexation could see the cost of most farm inputs increase,” she said. From July 1, 2014, a payment of up to $10,000 will be available to employers who hire a job seeker aged 50 years or over who has been receiving income support for at least six months. “This ‘restart’ program may be beneﬁcial for remote farming areas where employees are hard to ﬁnd. “While this additional incentive assists employers to ﬁnd staff, the cost of employing workers is also going up with the government increasing the superannuation guarantee rate to 9.5 per cent from July 1, 2014. “There are also fears that the reduction to the National Landcare Program announced will have signiﬁcant impact on sustainable farming and farm productivity. “With many farmers depending on their local Landcare groups for information and assistance for improved farm practices, the future of farm productivity growth is in jeopardy,” Ms Vale said. The government has also conﬁrmed a package of measures to support farmers affected by drought. The package
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RSM Bird Cameron Albury senior accountant Maxine Vale includes up to $280 million over two years for concessional loans to eligible farm businesses, up to $12 million to assist drought-affected farm businesses with installing water-related infrastructure, up to $10 million over two years to assist farm businesses manage the impacts of pest animals and $10.7 million over two years to enhance access to social and mental health services in communities affected by drought. For more information contact Maxine Vale on (02) 6041 3700.
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PART of succession planning is deciding where you are going to live when you are unable to stay in the family farm house. St John’s Village in Wangaratta is inviting people to inspect its “brimming with beauty” facility with its wide open pastures only minutes from the town’s central business district. St. John’s Village chief executive officer Peter Hill said the facility’s Village Terrace offers 153, two and three bedroom independent living homes and 31 single unit, independent accommodation. Further units are also to be built as part of the staged completion of the 200 unit development. “I have been asked by many what I think is the main attraction of St John’s,” Mr Hill said. “My response has been varied as I have had residents say “the open picturesque paddock reminds me of the farm” or “the community is so friendly and vibrant” or “the serenity is relaxing, it is hard to believe we are so close to town”. “Many of the residents have personalised their units, making it the home they wish they had had years ago. “Apart from being the best value, the ability to journey up north for three months and return to a welcoming environment knowing the security and appearance of their unit has been maintained ensures peace of mind,” he said. Some of the village’s facilities include a community vegetable garden, energy efficient brick veneer units and Terrace Hall to enjoy many activities. There is also a library, medical services, state-ofthe-art four rink synthetic bowling green, barbecue and fully equipped amenities. St John’s also holds weekly chapel services for residents of various denominations. The hobby-minded can can also make items in the workshop and there are opportunities to enjoy fellowship and and day outings on the town bus. For more information contact Christine Spriggs or Donna Clarke on (03) 5721 4214. Alternatively, more information can be found at the village website: www.stjohnsvillage.com. au.
A specifically designed, cost effective, specialized, unique, waterproofed Mineral and Vitamin including a higher content of essential elements Selenium and Magnesium to supplement as a loose mix or through mineral dispensers to enhance performance of all classes of cattle.
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SUCCESS IS THE ANSWER Don and Bruce Glasgow started using Fertility Plus to increase fertility in their dairy herd. Fertility has increased around 10%. Don then found by continuing Fertility Plus, his level of metabolic diseases dropped dramatically. Don now uses Fertility Plus as a management tool, increasing production and lowering Somotic Cell Count.
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Photo: Don, Bruce & Claire Glasgow, Bena Vic
Athol Economou – Violet Town – FERTILITY Athol runs 300 Euro-British cows and usually has around 10% empty cows. He has used Fertility Plus ad lib in the paddock over the past 12 months and has lifted conception rates by 3%. John & Sally McVean – Corryong – GRASS TETANY They run 250 cross bred cows as a vealer operation and since using Fertility Plus, have not lost any cows to Grass Tetany. John believes Fertility Plus has also helped with milk fever and mastitis. Has used Fertility Plus for the past two years, with only two cows empty this year. Robert & Tim Hayes – Tarcombe Herefords – Euroa Used Fertility Plus to successfully control Grass Tetany for the past two years. Duncan Newcomen – Ashwood Park Charolais – Yea Used Fertility Plus to eliminate Grass Tetany and has found that cattle that were having silent heats are now cycling strongly. Pam Shelley – Kaludah Herefords – Cooma Pam was getting very low conception rates in the AI programs with cows having silent heats or not cycling. Since feeding Fertility Plus, the cows are cycling and getting in calf. Cows only take Fertility Plus when they need it.
John & Gemma Monk – Kyabram Improved conception rate in last Spring joining, up by 10% in their 300 cow herd. Justin & Brooke Evans – Three Creeks Illawarra’s – Greta Introduced Fertility Plus a month prior to joining and continued through a 9-week joining period. First round conception rate of 83%. An easy use product with no loss due to weather or rain damage. John & Linda De Win – Yarram Found when using Fertility Plus that cows that showed no sign of heat are having strong heats and getting in calf. Jim Peacock – Tongala After commencing Fertility Plus, cows that were not producing well, looked better and started coming on to the rotary dairy better. Improved milk yields and better conception rates. Stephen Pendrick – Stratford After commencing using Fertility Plus during joining not only conception rates improved, but production went up and SCC down. Stopped Fertility Plus after joining and found milk production went down and SCC up. Re-introduced Fertility Plus as a management tool – increased production more than pays for Fertility Plus.
CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO USE FERTILITY PLUS IN YOUR DAIRY OR BEEF MANAGEMENT? We now have specially made troughs valued at $209 – we will give one trough away for a farmer who orders fifty – 20kg bags – 1 tonne Fertility Plus through his normal supplier prior to 30th June 2014.
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Page 18, North East Farmer
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THE best decision Jessica Randall made with her year 12 plan was to take equine studies via distance education from GOTAFE’s Rural Industries Campus, earning her a Premier’s Award. The Premier’s Awards recognise outstanding students who achieve a score of 46 or above in their elected Victorian Certiﬁcate of Education (VCE) subject. Jessica achieved a score of 48 in Certificate II Equine Industry after completing her equine studies via distance education through the VET in Schools (VETiS) program delivered by the National Centre for Equine Education based at GOTAFE’s Rural Industries Campus in Wangaratta. Jessica said that she never thought that something that gave her “so
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“I almost didn’t choose to study equine,” Jessica said. “I was focused on other serious subjects like biology because I initially thought I might get disadvantaged or that the course score
would be scaled down. “But once I realised it was assessed just like any regular VCE subject, the decision was easy.” “Studying equine became a release for me. “It took the pressure off because it was something different from the maths and science subjects I had chosen. “I could relax but still feel productive because it was something I enjoyed and it never felt like hard work.” Jessica completed her studies through distance education online, attending a week long camp at the Wangaratta campus. “We had access to lots of good resources, the assignments were practical and required us to really understand the theory so we could apply it to real life situations,” Jessica said. Since ﬁnishing VCE, Jessica has been accepted into a nursing and emergency health care course at Monash University.
VFF president re-elected VICTORIAN Farmers Federation (VFF) president Peter Tuohey will remain at the head of the farming lobby group for a further two years after he was reelected unopposed. Vice president David Jochinke is also re-elected alongside Livestock president Ian Feldtmann and vice president Michael Craig. Nicola Bussell of Carboor joins the VFF Livestock Council, Bill Bulmer of Lindenow joins the Horticulture Council and Sarah Parker of Shepparton joins the group’s Farm Business and Regional Development Committee. The VFF is still calling on members to nominate for a number of key policy and commodity committees at this month’s conference that is to take place at the Melbourne Showgrounds on June 12 and 13. For more information visit www. vff.org.au.
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Use tax time to plan for long-term wealth FARMERS are being encouraged to consider longer term wealth creation strategies while minimising their short-term tax liabilities as they start to prepare for tax time. According to National Australia Bankâ€™s head of agribusiness ďŹ nancial planning, Bill Adams the end of financial year is not just about seeing your accountant. â€œWhile upgrading equip-
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ment, carrying out repairs and utilising Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) are valuable tools to manage your tax position, there are also retirement and other off-farm investments,â€? Mr Adams said. â€œFarmers are increasingly taking advantage of superannuation, which is not only a sound wealth creation strategy but can also be a great tax management tool.â€? Concessional superannuation contributions made before June 30 are tax deductible and for those aged 59 years or over, the maximum concessional
contribution has increased to $35,000 per individual. For those under 59, the concessional cap is $25,000. â€œInterestingly, the younger generation (between 30 and 45 years) is the fastest growing segment setting up self-managed super funds. â€œDespite this trend, super as a tax management tool is extremely underused. â€œWe encourage farmers to work with their agribusiness ďŹ nancial planners to review or plan their strategies for the next 10 to 15 years. â€œFor those who have been fortunate enough to have a few good seasons,
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transferring some money out of FMDs and into superannuation can also be a tax effective option,â€? he said. Mr Adams said an example of this is if two partners from the business jointly bring $50,000 from an FMD account back into the business and then transfer the same amount into superannuation - this transaction can potentially be tax neutral. FMDs are tax effective in the year they are made, which in the past has seen a big spike in accounts being set up in June, however, to reap the beneďŹ ts of FMDs throughout the year, deposits
WESTPAC Agribusiness has become a major partner of the Future Farmersâ€™Network (FNN). The FNN is an organisation that empowers and supports young people in Australian agriculture. Westpacâ€™s head of agribusiness Susan Bower said the company is â€œproudâ€? to be supporting young
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A COMMON problem that many business owners in Australia face is underinsurance. Following are three tips to help you avoid this issue: Ensure you review your business insurance policy regularly. Elders Insurance Wangaratta agent John Houghton said that once a year you should review your business insurance policy and even more frequently if you are tak-
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with how much construction and repair work could set you back in the event something happens. â€œThese costs change year to year,â€? Mr Houghton said. â€œAccording to Australian property information portal, Street News, the cost of building a new residential property jumped by 7.7 per cent between 1998 and 2008. â€œA commercial property will probably set you back even more. â€œAlthough an insurance professional can guide you about the cost of construction or repair work in your region an online insurance calculator is available at eldersinsurance.com.au, and it is worthwhile contacting a qualiďŹ ed builder to provide an estimate,â€? he said. Remember that lower premiums are not always better. It may be tempting to save money by covering the bare necessities in your business, but this could leave you with signiďŹ cant out-of-pocket expenses if your business is affected by a loss-causing event. For more information contact John Houghton at Elders Insurance Wangaratta by calling (03) 5722 1400 or 0407 303 691.
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HANDLING liquid fertilisers safely requires a pump designed to cope with a ďŹ‚uidâ€™s corrosive nature and to do the job fast. One company, Australian Pump Industries, has developed a new 50.8-millimetre (twoinch) fertiliser pump for farmers looking to maximise yields this sowing season. Called the â€˜Aussie Poly Smartâ€™, the new poly will not only safely and efďŹ ciently handle liquid fertilisers, it has additional features that make it convenient to use and even more versatile. â€œWe have â€˜up-specâ€™dâ€™ our fertiliser pumps to give farmers more convenience and better chemical handling capability,â€? said Adam Scully, Aussie Pumpsâ€™ product manager. â€œWe understand that thereâ€™s a wide range of chemicals on farm that need to be pumped. â€œThatâ€™s why weâ€™ve standardised on universal Viton seals. â€œViton will generally outlast othersâ€™ elastomers and it can withstand higher temperatures without becoming brittle.
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â€œThat means the pump needs less maintenance.â€? The new pump is driven by a genuine 6.5-horsepower Honda engine with electric start convenience. The pump, engine and battery are mounted in a robust steel frame to give them protection. The frame enables the 34kg pump to become an easy two man lift. â€œThe electric start Honda engine is proving extremely popular,â€? said Mr Scully. â€œItâ€™s quicker to start the pump and the full frame configuration makes it easy to pick up and throw in the back of a ute when you want.â€? Aussie Poly Smart offers high ďŹ‚ow capability delivering up to 835 litres per minute. This ability cuts the time taken for chemical transfer and even big sprayers can be ďŹ lled in a matter of minutes, cutting cycle times. The pumpâ€™s unique construction material, glass ďŹ lled polyester, is impervious nitrogen based liquid fertilisers. See www.aussiepumps. com.au.
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North East Farmer, Page 25
Liquid seaweed for frost protection DR COLIN YOUNG
has worked on seaweed extracts for about 35 years and shares his knowledge on reducing frost damage in vineyards and orchards. He works as a consultant and is a director of Fair Dinkum Fertilizers in Victoria, while serving on the board of other seaweed processing companies. He is the owner of a number of agrochemical patents regarding the production of sustainable agriculture products and was the associate professor in the School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne until 1999.
frosts have increased over the last ﬁfteen years in the NSW/Victoria grain growing areas. This trend is expected to continue, so unless growers take some precautionary measures, losses from frost damage in cereal grains will increase. Frost may occur at a time when the natural frost hardiness is still signiﬁcant with no loss of crop. On the other hand, a frost of just two or three degrees Celsius below zero can wipe the entire crop out in the frost sensitive period. For these reasons products for reducing frost damage are often investigated in carefully controlled situations in laboratory conditions. The solution Field trials are an important aspect of new development for any agricultural product, but frost ﬁeld trials
are notoriously difﬁcult to undertake. Field trials are a hit and miss type of investigation and should only be used, particularly in the case of frost damage control, after the science has been elucidated. Much money is wasted every year because the limitations of ﬁeld trials are not appreciated. That is not meant to imply that once a product has been developed from scientiﬁc investigation it should not be subject to evaluation in the ﬁeld. Of course it should. The timing and severity of damaging frost in large areas is beyond the control of man. Most frost ﬁeld trials are inconclusive because the frost is either too mild or in some rare occasions too severe or does not occur at a sensitive period or does
not occur at all that year. In brief, ﬁeld trials, in the case of evaluating frost damage control measures, suffer from numerous problems including: There may not be a damaging frost in that year. There are almost always a range of lowest temperatures reached across the trial area, often differences of several degrees. Statistical analysis of essentially different replicas is meaningless. The frost may be so severe that the total crop is wiped out. Different parts of the trial area may be at slightly different growth stages and consequently the susceptibility to frost damage will be variable. What is needed is to think outside the square, the answer, or at least a signiﬁcant part of it, is already in the scientiﬁc archives. Liquid seaweeds have moved away, to some extent at least, from the snake oil salesmen of yesteryear to being investigated in detail by scientists in the world’s best universities. Industry leaders in Australia such as Fair Dinkum Fertilizers and Marinova (in the health food industry) and several overseas
companies (particularly in Canada and Ireland) have invested heavily in the development of new products based on knowledge obtained by scientists financed by the major pharmaceutical and health food companies. Because of the very extensive research by health food and pharmaceutical companies on the bioactive compounds in seaweed there is a better understanding of the possible mechanisms of frost protection attained from the use of liquid seaweeds. There are numerous
methods to reduce frost damage involving cultural practices, variety selection and spray treatments. Growers usually adopt a strategy involving a selection of methods. Successful spray treatments are limited, in most situations, to seaweed based products, hydrophobic dusts and polymeric anti-transpirants. In the past, the cost of these treatments has limited the use to mediumto-high value per acre crops, such as fruit and occasionally canola. In Australia, liquid seaweed sprays are the most
widely used products but these have to be applied every 10 to 12 days throughout the frost danger period. The typical cost per application is $10 or more per hectare. Liquid seaweeds are thought to work by supplying substances called compatible solutes, probably betaines, and substances that trigger production of compatible solutes and compounds that modify the cell wall. There are other compatible solutes that may work including sugars, polysaccharides and polyphenols. Continued page 26
Frost Guard Enhanced Protection For Fruit Trees & Vines An Australian Bull Kelp extract that contains added phosphourus and potassium, designed to give rapid frost protection in a variety of stone fruits, vines, fruit trees, canloa, grains and vegetables. Frost Guard is filtered to 100 micron suitable for use in a range of spray applications.
Fair Dinkum Fertilizers manufacturers of quality seaweed products
For the entire range of products go to
(03) 9357 5488
DEPI warns against risking crop failure
Frost Guard PROUD SUPPLIERS OF FROST GUARD TO THE HORTICULTURE and BROADACRE INDUSTRIES
FARMING APP: Built for farmers, agronomists and agricultural consultants, the Crop Disease Application allows users to identify crop varieties and disease ratings in the ute, office or paddock. “The industry needs to rule out the presence of a new, exotic pest which, if found, would initiate a robust, multiagency response to try and eradicate it. “So do plan on regular, thorough surveillance of your crops by an expert in plant pests and diseases. “Listen for pest and disease alerts issued by various agencies and organisations and survey your crops as recommended, depending on the weather conditions and reports of sightings nearby,” he said.
INCREASED FROST PROTECTION
WITH planting of winter crops now complete, the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is reminding grain farmers to prepare a surveillance of their growing crops. According to DEPI Epsom grains industry biosecurity officer Jim Moran, surveillance during the life of a crop will provide the best possible chance of identifying a new pest early after symptoms appear and significantly increase the potential to eradicate the pest and minimise damage and loss of income. “Whether it is a new pest to Australia, or just a new pest on your farm, there can be multiple impacts on productivity from the establishment of a pest,” Mr Moran said. “Once established, pests can increase your cost of production through chemical applications, decrease yields through plant damage and may impact on the price and marketability of your crop. “Any surveillance must be supported by thorough knowledge of the common pests of the crops you are growing. “Whether it’s you or your agronomist who conducts the surveillance, knowing what is normal to expect to find in your crop will identify through elimination any unusual pest which has arrived,” he said. A large number of resources on common and exotic grain pests and diseases is available in booklets and online that can assist and support any surveillance activity, including the DEPI Crop Disease App for iPhones. Mr Moran said a sample of anything unusual should be sent to DEPI in Horsham through the CROPSAFE program for free analysis by experts.
101 Drummond Road, Shepparton, VIC., 3630 (03) 5821 6900
FROST damage is responsible for signiﬁcantly reducing yields of cereals, canola and fruit in Australia. Worldwide damage from late frosts is at least $6 billion and some years in Australia alone it is at $1 billion. Although frost damages crops at other times in Australia it is particularly frost in late spring that is the most damaging. Besides the immediate economic damage, frost restricts production of sensitive crops because of fear of frost and uncertainty about the likelihood of a damaging frost occurring. The extent of the problem can be judged by the fact that GRDC have spent more than $10 million investigating strategies to minimise frost damage in broad acre crops over the last decade and plan to spend $3 million this year. Despite some advances the grain industry suffered more frost damage in the last season than in any of the last six years. Damage by radiation frosts in spring to cereals, canola and pulses is a signiﬁcant problem. GRDC estimate of losses in a typical year run at about $300 million. It is an indisputable fact that the number and severity of late damaging
Page 26, North East Farmer
Liquid seaweed for frost protection From page 25
There is extensive scientiﬁc work on sugars, polysaccharides and phenols to show that they increase resistance to abiotic stress such as drought, soil salinity, heat stress and freezing. The number of articles in scientiﬁc journals has increased dramatically in the past ﬁve years. Scientiﬁc work on compatible solute sugars has focused on sucrose and trehalose. Some commercial products for frost damage reduction contain sucrose, but these are always in formulations with other frost damage reduction agents. Numerous attempts
have been made to increase the frost hardiness, salt and drought tolerance of crops by genetic modiﬁcation. There are a number of organisms that have a signiﬁcant proportion of trehalose and by genetic modiﬁcation it is possible to successfully increase the amount of trehalose in crops that normally have no trehalose content. However, most crops genetically modiﬁed in this manner suffer growth abnormalities making commercial acceptance unlikely. The genetic modiﬁcation that leads to production of trehalose often
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involves production of trehalose-6- phosphate. It is this substance that is thought to be responsible for the growth abnormalities observed. Similar problems have been encountered in GMO that have been modiﬁed to increase the amount of glycine betaine. Polysaccharides and polyphenols are thought to act by modifying the cell wall and altering the hydrogen bonding of water molecules at the cell-cell ﬂuid interface. While definitely not a foregone conclusion, some caution is needed while developing new varieties to increase frost tolerance. Decreased yields of cereals may be a problem with more frost tolerant varieties. The results Overseas workers have shown that liquid seaweed application every 10 to 12 days on barley can reduce frost damage and other workers overseas have shown that a number of compatible solutes, if sprayed on crops on a regular basis, can signiﬁcantly reduce chilling and frost damage. Furthermore, it has been shown that the natural decrease in frost hardiness in a number of plants is also accompanied by a decrease in the
FEAR OF FROSTS: There are numerous methods to reduce frost damage involving cultural practices, variety selection and spray treatments.
level of compatible solute. GMOs that have inserted genes which produce compatible solute, such as betaines and some sugars are more frost tolerant than the parent plant without the inserted genes. However, the inserted genes often induce other changes making the GMO not suitable for crop production. Furthermore, it is obvious that the increase frost resistance obtainable from a chemical or seaweed spray depends on the crop concerned and also the extent and type of crop damage, which may be a one critical stage or over several growth stages.
There is ample evidence to support the claim that liquid seaweed can give an extra two to three degrees Celsius frost tolerance in stone and pome fruits and slightly less on grapes. There is widespread use in Australia of liquid seaweeds for this purpose. Fair Dinkum Fertilizers make frost protection products that are sold both in Australia and overseas. There is laboratory evidence that liquid seaweed application can give an extra three to four degrees Celsius frost tolerance in barley and canola. However, extrapolation from laboratory results to ﬁeld conditions is a little
more complicated because of larger variation in the growth stage in broad acre crops and variation and difﬁculties in measuring the temperature over many hectares. Nothing will protect cereals or canola if there is a frost of greater than negative ﬁve degrees Celsius below the critical temperature in the frost sensitive period. However, on the basis of observations made by growers there is little doubt that in most instances investment in a few applications of liquid seaweed treatment can make the difference between a reasonable crop
or a damaged crop, or maybe total crop loss if a late frost occurs. The cost of a suitable seaweed-based frost protectant can be as low as $10 per hectare plus application costs. Suitable frost protectants currently used in the fruit growing industry are Fair Dinkum Fertilizers FrostGuard (also available as a certiﬁed input for organic production), high potassium blend (for organic production) and HiP and Farmers Marketing Network Ectol products. Even if there is no frost, numerous studies have shown that a small increase in yield of typically ﬁve per cent or so, will be obtained from treatment with liquid seaweed. If the crop is moisture stressed the percentage increase in yield is likely to be greater. The compatible solutes and the trigger compound that produce solutes also protect plants against water stress. No frost protection product or strategy is 100 per cent guaranteed, but in the majority of cases crop frost damage can be minimised and even if there is no late frost there is likely to be a good return on investment in the form of increased yield.
For best results using Seasol for increased frost resistance: NOW
indicate a developing risk
* incl. GST
PRICE INCL. $9057 CUSTOMER REBATE
9DO NOT tank-mix with
Prime for Frost
Post-harvest foliar spray 10 L/Ha Seasol at Budburst via Irrigation 10 L/Ha 2 cover sprays before flowering 5 L/Ha
Seasol via irrigation for rapid recovery 10 L/Ha
Effective frost management requires a multi-facetted strategy.
As part of such a program, Seasol is effective in providing significant frost resistance within 5-7 days of application. Applied at 10L/ha its effects can last for 2 to 3 weeks. In all cases, Seasol should be used to improve the effectiveness of existing frost mitigation activities – not to replace them. However, even the best protected crops can sometimes be damaged by frost. Should damage occur, Seasol can also be used to aid regrowth and recovery. Here are the key points to remember when using Seasol to help increase frost resistance:
Spray or Fertigate? The use of Seasol via irrigation can help increase frost resistance, but it takes 15 to 20 days to become effective. Foliar sprays need only 5 to 7 days to achieve the same result, but are ineffective if there is insufficient leaf area for proper absorption
Do NOT Tank-mix. Pesticides may be compatible with Seasol for general purposes, but field experience shows they may reduce frost resistance benefits.
After a Frost. When plants are damaged by a frost, it is important to stimulate healthy new growth. Seasol can be used through fertigation or foliar sprays to aid this process.
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Foliar spray as soon as forecasts show a developing risk 10 L/Ha
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The susceptibility to frost damage can be a significant production risk, especially during early growth stages.
USING SEASOL FOR FROST
Prepare for Frost
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*Greens Customer Rebate Program Can be subtracted from the dealer’s selling price as a discount at the time of sale and is not redeemable for cash. Subject to availability and conditions apply.
See page 4 for more detailed information.
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North East Farmer, Page 27 PUBLIC NOTICES
imit Annual Use L
STUD DIRECTORY CAMPBELL FARMS ANGUS
High proďŹ t and easy care cattle
A seasonal adjustment has been declared for the 2013/2014 Annual Use Limits (AUL) for all Goulburn â€“ Murray Water (GMW) customers.
The AUL is a condition of the Water Use Licence that specifies the maximum amount of water, which can be applied annually to a property. This does not change the volume of water available to customers. Customers AUL will revert back on 1 July 2014. GMW, DEPI and local Catchment Management Authorities are continuing a review of Water Use Licences including conditions such as AUL. To assist customers planning for the 2014/15 irrigation season, GMW advises that customers will not be prevented from placing orders if they reach their AUL.
New Case IH Farmall 60B Tractor, 60HP, 3PL, 4 wheel drive, pwr steer, $33,255 without Loader or $38,000 with Loader. Call Ivan from Oâ€™Connors Farm Machinery, Shepparton, (03) 5821 4555.
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For more information phone GMW on 1800 013 357.
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SHEPPARTON (03) 5821 3122.
2.3litre - 4 cylinder. Gunmetal Grey. Air con. Power sunroof. Leather interior. Cruise Control. Climate control. 6 x airbags. 6 Stack CD. Power mirrors & Drivers seat. 17 inch alloys. New tyres. 150,000 kms. Serviced regularly. Reg until November 2014. (TUC 063) Will come with roadworthy certificate. Genuine buyers only. $13,750. 0407 727044
Mob: 0437 662 177 (Tony)
Owner: Jim Delany â€“ M. 0408 535 658
Customers who believe their AUL is not adequate should contact GMW to discuss options available to them. All authorities would like to remind water users of the need for on farm best practice to ensure sustainable irrigation in the region.
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TUESDAY "KING VALLEY RUN" THURSDAY "BEECHWORTH, MYRTLEFORD RUN" PRE-BOOKED VETERINARY WORK
*FOR REDUCED TRAVEL PRICES* Dr. Graeme S. Blanch B.Ag.Sc., B.V.Sc. (Hons) M.A.C.V.Sc. Dr. Andrew Bett B.Ag. Sc. (Hons) B.V.Sc. Dr. Richard Evans B.V.Sc. M.R.C.V.S. Dr. Rena Geroe B.V.Sc. Dr. Tim Craig B.V.Sc. (Hons) Dr. Sarah Cavill, B.V.Sc. (Hons)
32 WARBY STREET, WANGARATTA
PHONE 5721 7177
Mastitis in freshly calved heifers may result from infection that has occurred during their development since puberty, or in the few weeks immediately before calving. Heifers may be particularly susceptible to infection during the calving period. This is because they tend to spend longer calving, especially on the ground, and they can suffer from some degree of udder oedema that may reduce the ability of the teat and udder tissues to resist bacterial challenge. Factors to aid environmental mastitis control in heifers includes : Â‡ PLQLPLVLQJH[SRVXUHWRPXGG\FRQGLWLRQV Â‡ PLONLQJWKHPRXWDVVRRQDVSRVVLEOHDIWHUFDOYLQJ Â‡ DSSO\HIIHFWLYHWHDWVDQLWLVHUDIWHUHYHU\PLONLQJ
Would you like to receive our quarterly newsletter via email? If so, fill out the form below and drop it in to us at Warby Street (or fill out one at reception). Name: .................................................................................................... Postal Address:....................................................................................... .............................................................................................................. Email: ....................................................................................................
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Environmental mastitis is caused by organisms that survive in the cowâ€™s surroundings, - including, in soil, manure, bedding, calving pads, water, or on body sites of the cow other than the mammary glands. Infection of the udder with these organisms is often opportunistic, taking advantage of circumstances that favour environmental contamination and changes in the mammary glandâ€™s susceptibility to infection. There are many bacteria in the environment and some biological characteristics then enable them to multiply within the udder. Most cases of environmental mastitis occur within a few weeks of calving, when the cowâ€™s natural defence mechanisms are low and their udders have been in contact with mud and manure during calving. However, exposure of teat ends to environmental bacteria can occur at any time - before heifers have their first calf, during calving, at milking time or in paddocks during the lactation or dry periods.. During lactation, factors that predispose cows to infection with environmental bacteria include: milking udders that are wet or dirty, or administering intramammary infusions if the teat orifice is not clean. During the early and late dry periods, absence of the keratin plug in the teat canal may make cows highly susceptible to infection. Bacteria that commonly cause environmental mastitis are Streptococcus uberis or Escherichia coli. Other environmental organisms causing mastitis include other coliform bacteria, Pseudomonas, Nocardia and Corynebacteria. The udder is very susceptible to infection at calving and many infections detected in early lactation are established at calving time.
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