Australia Farming & Agriculture
Value adding with pulses keeps the family farm viable
Turning coffee waste into mushrooms
What is A2 milk and what are its claimed benefits?
Ryan Evans sentenced to almost 50 years behind bars after murdering pig farmer Keith Cini
Mining the wind provides drought insurance for outback farmers in Silverton and Broken Hill
LNP promises electricity rebates for farmers struggling with power cost
Farm animal sanctuary promised funds for road upgrade after TMR dispute
'Very lucky': Spinal surgeon says farmer with broken neck did the 'right thing'
2018-01-15 12:17:58 A Melbourne spinal surgeon has commended the actions of a Victorian farmer who rode for help with a broken neck holding his head up by his hair, adding the man was "very lucky". The 73-year-old beef farmer from West Gippsland was reportedly checking his farm for grasshoppers in early December when he hit a small hollow and "went sailing over his handlebars", landing on his head and breaking his neck   Read More ...
'My head wouldn’t stay up': Farmer with broken neck rides for help
2018-01-15 04:05:52 A farmer has been forced to ride his motorbike holding his head upright by his hair after falling and breaking his neck on a property at West Gippsland. The 73-year-old was reportedly checking his farm for grasshoppers early December when he hit a small hollow and "went sailing over his handlebars," landing on his head and breaking his neck. A friend of the man told radio station 3AW the farmer rode 500 metres to his house to get help after "realising he was still alive"   Read More ...
Farmer with broken neck rides for help holding head up with his hair
2018-01-15 00:10:51 A farmer was forced to ride his motorbike holding his head upright by his hair after falling and breaking his neck on a property at South Gippsland. The 73-year-old reportedly fell from the bike while checking his farm for grasshoppers on the weekend. A caller to radio station 3AW said the man idled back to his house, holding his head upright with one hand before calling triple zero   Read More ...
How Australian cocoa growers are future-proofing against a chocolate shortage
2018-01-08 12:13:38 Climate change could crumble the global chocolate industry in 30 years, but Australian farmers are future-proofing their produce. More than half the world’s cocoa is grown in Côte d’Ivoire, known as Ivory Coast, and Ghana. But drying conditions and rising temperatures are making the West African countries less suitable for cocoa cultivation. Dr Kitchen – executive chairman of Daintree Estates, based around Cairns – said he was continuously looking at ways to make his farm viable into the future   Read More ...
Long-range wi-fi to trial dementia patient tracking, help farmers operate remotely
2018-01-07 00:08:48 An alert for families of lost dementia sufferers and a smart phone app that can run a farm are among the products that will be tested in Tasmania using a new kind of sensor network. Antennas that receive and transmit signals for low power and long-range sensors have been installed on buildings in and around Launceston, creating a network know as a LoRaWAN   Read More ...
Fonterra Australia to lift payments to dairy farmers
2017-12-13 07:08:56 Fonterra Australia, the nation’s biggest dairy processor, has unveiled a boost in payments to its 1300 farmer suppliers in Australia and signalled that demand for dairy products in its key markets remains strong. Fonterra also confirmed that its milk supply volume is up about 25 per cent compared to the same time last year, largely due to the greater number of farmers who supply it with milk, many of whom have defected from competitor Murray Goulburn   Read More ...
Value adding with pulses keeps the family farm viable
2017-12-12 12:19:35 A fifth-generation farming family who made a name for themselves after making pasta from their own durum wheat, have diversified again. This time making tasty snack foods from pulses.   Read More ...
Dry conditions, then frosts hit farm production and exports
2017-12-12 09:09:28 Dry conditions in winter and spring, followed by severe frosts in cropping districts in south-eastern Australia, have combined to slash crops, farm incomes and agricultural export earnings in fiscal 2018. Australia's wheat crop, forecast to be just over 20 million tonnes, is on track to be the lowest in a decade. The fall in incomes for some farmers – particularly grain producers – coincides with rising fuel and electricity prices and means a large number of farmers will have less cash to spend in regional areas   Read More ...
Why this emu farmer believes he may have struck oil
2017-12-09 06:07:37 The number of emu farms across Australia is dwindling, but Ian Marston's not giving up on his long-legged beauties any time soon. He is betting on their oil being the next big thing in health products, maybe even as big as fish oil. Mr Marston bought his 100-acre property at The Rock in southern New South Wales in 1991 and realised quickly that he had to go down a less traditional farming route   Read More ...
Wild weather: Monster storm threatens 20 per cent of Australia's wheat crop
2017-12-01 08:10:30 Heavy rains in eastern Australia could wipe out or damage up to 4 million tonnes of wheat due to be harvested shortly, forecasters said on Friday. The "major weather event" being faced by most of Victoria and parts of South Australia and NSW this weekend poses a major threat to the countries grain harvest. "The main concern is that these are the areas where crops are still being harvested," said James Maxwell of Australian Crop Forecasters, which expects to downgrade its national wheat forecast of 21   Read More ...
After drought, monster storm threatens Australia's wheat crop
2017-12-01 05:39:57 SYDNEY (Reuters) - Heavy rains in eastern Australia forecast to intensify over the weekend are threatening to wipe out or damage up to 4 million tonnes of wheat due to be harvested shortly, forecasters said on Friday. Most of the state of Victoria and parts of the states of South Australia and New South Wales were facing a “major weather event” in the coming days from torrential rains, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology   Read More ...
Supermarkets' $1 milk not to blame for farmers' woes, ACCC finds
2017-11-30 09:10:46 Supermarkets selling home brand milk for $1 a litre is not to blame for Australian dairy farmers being paid low farm-gate prices, the competition watchdog has found. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instead fingered a power imbalance between farmers and milk processors, and called for a mandatory code of conduct to strengthen farmers' bargaining power and improve their share of profits   Read More ...
Turning coffee waste into mushrooms
2017-11-28 12:25:21 Two enterprising mates save tonnes of coffee grounds from landfill by turning them into the perfect medium for growing mushrooms. Read m.   Read More ...
BHP, Goldman hunt for energy fix amid remote banana plantations
2017-11-27 02:07:30 The world's biggest miner and Wall Street's top-ranked merger firm are among the high-profile backers of a remote solar project nestled among banana crops in Australia's far tropical northeast. For BHP Billiton, it's a chance to unlock renewable technology for the global mining sector. As mining companies grapple with energy costs and seek to curb emissions, Melbourne-based BHP is expanding its interest in solar power in Chile, the US and Australia, including the Lakeland Solar and Storage project, about 1900 kilometres north of Brisbane   Read More ...
What is A2 milk and what are its claimed benefits?
2017-11-22 08:15:17 As lactose-free, soy and nut milks become more common household staples, there is another variety of milk that is becoming increasingly popular — A2 milk. The milk is promoted and sold in supermarkets as an alternative for people who struggle to digest common varieties of cows' milk. At $4.80 for two litres, consumers are paying more for A2 milk in the hope it won't upset their stomach — so what's the difference between A2 and other milk? What exactly is A2 milk? Over the past decade The a2 Milk Company, commonly known as a2, has become a major milk player in Australia with about 10 per cent of the market   Read More ...
Farmers open the gate to social farming to change lives for people with disabilities and their carers
2017-11-20 02:45:29 In the picturesque costal farming town of Torbay on Western Australia's south coast, the May family has had a "open farm gate" policy for those dealing with mental illness, addiction and disability for seven years. Now, under a new initiative, they hope to help even more people. Andy May, who lives with his teenage sons Javier and Simon, had never heard of "social farming" before attending a University of Western Australia (UWA) lecture in the nearby city of Albany, but he had inadvertently been following its core principles for years   Read More ...
These backpackers wanted to see Australia. Instead they became virtual slaves for farmers
2017-11-16 17:00:17 SYDNEY — The popular program is promoted as a cultural exchange: Young and adventurous travelers can experience Australia's wild outback, while farmers gain much needed agricultural labor. In reality, the 88-day working holiday has turned into a living nightmare for thousands of backpackers being exploited and abused by unscrupulous farmers. Many find themselves in debt, forced to pay rent for weeks at hostels while waiting for work that never arrives   Read More ...
Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane
2017-11-11 15:11:01 In the city, space is a premium - especially space that could grow a garden. But there's a growing movement of urban farmers and gardeners who want Brisbane's city dwellers to understand that any space is enough to grow vegetables and even raise bees - from backyards and verges to balconies and rooftops. Urban beekeeper Jack Stone and gardener James Blyth both came back to Brisbane after time overseas with myriad ideas about improving the city's urban gardening culture   Read More ...
Canadian dairy heavyweight Saputo confident of Murray Goulburn buy
2017-11-10 08:09:58 The head of the Canadian dairy heavyweight Saputo believes the company will acquire the distressed dairy processor Murray Goulburn and says a top priority is to lift the processor's annual milk volume to 2.5 billion litres. Lino Saputo jnr, who is in Australia on a 10-day roadshow meeting Murray Goulburn suppliers and industry figures, said his company might consider other acquisitions in the Australian dairy industry in future if suitable opportunities emerged and regulatory approval was allowed   Read More ...
Ice addict who killed pig farmer with pick handle jailed for 36 years
2017-11-10 04:34:14 Ryan David Evans, 29, was found guilty in May of a string of offences related to two home invasions including the murder of Keith Cini, 69, at his Badgerys Creek home in the early hours of May 30, 2014. In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Justice Robert Allan Hulme set a maximum term of 48 years describing the murder as a “cowardly, violent and shameful attack”   Read More ...
Man jailed for at least 36 years for violent murder of Sydney pig farmer Keith Cini
2017-11-10 02:09:56 An ice-addict who brutally beat a Sydney pig farmer to death with a pick handle in a violent home invasion has been jailed for at least 36 years. Ryan David Evans, 29, was found guilty in May of a string of offences related to two home invasions including the murder of Keith Cini, 69, at his Badgerys Creek home in the early hours of May 30, 2014   Read More ...
Ryan Evans sentenced to almost 50 years behind bars after murdering pig farmer Keith Cini
2017-11-10 02:07:23 A man has been sentenced to a maximum of 48 years behind bars for murdering his former boss with a pick handle during a 2014 home invasion, in which he attempted to steal up to $20,000 cash. Key points: Ryan Evans bludgeoned Keith Cini to death with a pick handle Today, a judge said: "There is no suggestion that the offender is remorseful   Read More ...
Mining the wind provides drought insurance for outback farmers in Silverton and Broken Hill
2017-11-09 08:09:41 Droughts come regularly to outback Broken Hill, killing sheep, burning profits and carving farmland into craters. But the wind is constant, said local farmer Greg Lawrence, sitting on a rocky and gusty hill that only a feral goat could love. "It's not blowing a gale, but there is always wind," said Mr Lawrence. He is one of four property owners whose properties will host the 58 turbines that comprise the 200-megawatt Silverton Wind Farm – the largest in NSW – to be finished next year   Read More ...
LNP promises electricity rebates for farmers struggling with power cost
2017-11-07 05:06:43 Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has committed more than $70 million towards an electricity rebate to help Queensland farmers struggling with high power costs on his third day of energy announcements. Speaking from Greensill Farming Group at Oakwood in the Burnett electorate, Mr Nicholls said an LNP government would introduce a Food and Fibre Transition Payment that would help farmers battling high electricity costs   Read More ...
Farm animal sanctuary promised funds for road upgrade after TMR dispute
2017-11-05 05:07:45 A farm animal rescue charity has been given new hope in its battle with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, with Labor pledging on Sunday that the sanctuary will be the first to benefit from a charity infrastructure fund, if the ALP is re-elected. TMR had issued an ultimatum to the south-east Queensland not-for-profit - pay for a 100-metre overtaking lane on the road outside the sanctuary or not be allowed to have visitors   Read More ...
Farmers revive convict craft to restore historic hawthorn hedges
2017-11-03 22:10:51 The ancient craft of hedge laying has been revived in parts of Tasmania, in an effort to restore some of the nation's first farming fences. Piers Dumaresq, a sixth generation farmer, says the original hedge fences were planted by convicts. "Convicts were responsible for getting the ground into a farming state and part of that was to plant hedges so that the family could plant crops for the early colony," Mr Dumaresq said   Read More ...
Farmers' fury at plans to re-introduce land clearing bill
2017-11-01 10:12:59 Farming groups are fuming at the prospect Labor's previously defeated land-clearing legislation could be re-introduced. On day three of the 2017 state election campaign, Premier Annastacia Palasczczuk confirmed she would reintroduce the bill if Labor won the next election. But it was revealed the particularly controversial reverse onus of proof aspect, which would require farmers to prove their innocence, would be dumped   Read More ...
Farmers slam $1.3billion sale of Murray Goulburn to Canada's Saputo
2017-10-27 17:14:07 Victorian farmers have blasted Murray Goulburn over the dairy processor's decision to sell the business to Canadian giant Saputo for $1.31 billion at a sometimes fiery annual general meeting in Melbourne. Murray Goulburn's leaders were told during the meeting that their behaviour had been morally bankrupt, that they had capitulated, and they had not done enough to preserve the processor's milk supply as farmers left and sent their milk elsewhere   Read More ...
Five claims about coconut oil debunked
2017-10-27 01:14:03 Coconuts have been a valued food in tropical areas for thousands of years, traditionally enjoyed as coconut water from the centre of the coconut, coconut flesh, or coconut "milk" (made by steeping the flesh in hot water). Solid white coconut oil (I'll use this popular term, although technically it's a fat not an oil) is now the darling of celebrities and bloggers, paleo enthusiasts and sellers of so-called superfoods   Read More ...
Victorian dairy introduces free-range milk following trend of ‘intense farming’
2017-10-25 10:08:23 A Victorian company is calling for a standard in the dairy industry after introducing a line of free-range milk to the marketplace. The chief executive of Camperdown Dairy, Peter Skene, said they launched the line of free-range milk to give consumers a choice. He said they were seeing a trend in the dairy industry for “intensification” of dairy farms. “It differentiates us from the trend that we believe is occurring in the marketplace,” he said   Read More ...
APVMA performance improves but 'long way to go' for pass mark: crop industry
2017-10-22 10:07:38 A horror run of deteriorating performance has ended at the pesticides authority ahead of its move to Armidale but the crop industry says it isn't close to reaching an acceptable standard. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority last week posted its first improvement in on-time crop product approvals in a year, after its figures toppled while staff resigned and the agency prepared for its controversial relocation from Canberra   Read More ...
From fashion to farming: On-farm businesses embrace the world of online opportunities
2017-10-20 22:13:36 Former fashion model Vanessa Bell is riding a new wave of potential for on-farm businesses in Australia taking value-added products direct to the world online. She has started a company from a farm at Goulburn in New South Wales, producing hand-knitted baby blankets from super fine merino wool. "Being online is really good, it gives us an opportunity obviously to be on a world-wide platform, so we have blankets now in London and Switzerland," she said   Read More ...
Australia urged to stamp out farm workers trapped in 'modern slavery'
2017-10-19 00:16:31 Australian horticulture is ripe for indebted labour akin to slavery where people are lured to the country on false pretences and in debt before they start work. This is according to an Australian Parliamentary Inquiry investigating the United Kingdom's lead in adopting a Modern Slavery Act. The inquiry is nearing completion with the one and only regional hearing at Mildura, in Victoria, to be held on October 30 and a report slated to be released in November   Read More ...
National Energy Guarantee leaves farmers, builders, trucking industry still waiting for their emissions reduction task
2017-10-18 12:20:04 Farmers, builders and the trucking industry might be forced to do extra work to cut greenhouse gas emissions because of the way the National Energy Guarantee is designed. Key points: To hit its Paris climate agreement targets, Australia has to reduce emissions by 26 per cent overall by 2030 The NEG requires the electricity sector to reduce their emissions by that much, but some say they could make bigger reductions They argue this leaves the farming, construction and trucking industries, who are less equipped to cut down on emissions, an impossible task Under the plan announced yesterday, the electricity sector — which generates a third of the nation's emissions — has to cut their emissions by 26 per cent by 2030   Read More ...
Boutique abattoir the answer for former chef turned quail farmer Brendan Sheldrick
2017-10-15 00:06:05 When chef Brendan Sheldrick gave up on his promising career to go quail farming, he knew there would be a keen market for ethically-produced, pasture-raised birds. But the missing ingredient for his plan was an abattoir that would guarantee to slaughter and process low numbers of the delicate poultry. As he developed his farm and grew a market, consistency of supply would be crucial, he said   Read More ...
Cattle farmers near Oakey, Williamtown Defence bases worried they might be selling PFAS contaminated beef
2017-10-14 20:35:02 The fallout from the failure of the Department of Defence to prevent potentially harmful chemicals from firefighting foam entering the environment has hit the beef industry. Key points: Williamtown grazier says local authorities refused requests to have animals tested Authorities have not set guidelines for safe levels of PFAS in cattle Oakey farmer fears potentially contaminated meat continues to be sold at supermarkets Cattle farmers in Queensland and NSW, near the Oakey and Williamtown bases, said they were concerned they could be selling contaminated meat   Read More ...
Postcode 4306: The four digits forcing farmers to turn backpacker workers away
2017-10-14 20:34:41 Who would have thought that a few digits could cause so much distress? A postcode might seem like a little thing, but in some parts of southern Queensland it is driving people nuts. "It's very, very frustrating. It's a local issue that's become a massive issue," said avocado grower Andy Veal, from Mount Binga. He and his wife Judy are tired and stressed out after a busy harvest   Read More ...
Cricketing star's grandson Tom Bradman takes agricultural shot with 'regenerative' poultry farm
2017-10-13 22:14:03 On a very different field to the one cricketing great Don Bradman ruled, his grandson is making his mark. Tom Bradman has set up an award-winning pasture-raised poultry farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, and instead of raising his chickens in big sheds, he has set up a series of bottomless pens that he moves every morning. "It's a way of producing chicken which I think is far better for the landscape," Mr Bradman said   Read More ...
Tomato waste at rotten levels as up to 84pc of crops left in field
2017-10-13 00:10:54 Supermarket demands for unblemished fruit has led to a high level of waste in the tomato industry, researchers say. A study from the University of the Sunshine Coast has found 70–84 per cent of undamaged, edible tomatoes are being left in the field because they do not meet retailers' expectations. Environmental Science honours student Tara McKenzie said she wanted to understand where in the supply chain food waste was happening, and why   Read More ...
Keep farmers market option open for Woden Town Centre, developers tell inquiry
2017-10-10 15:11:47 The owners of two dilapidated public service buildings in Woden have urged an inquiry to keep open the option of a weekend farmers market in the town centre. A Legislative Assembly inquiry into a new draft master plan for Woden Town Centre on Tuesday heard from a raft of witnesses concerned about how best to reinvigorate the ailing town centre. While the Woden Valley Community Council remains concerned about continued closure of community facilities and a lack of amenities, a number of developers were worried about inconsistencies between the draft plan and the current one   Read More ...