Australia Farming & Agriculture
Banana prices tipped to go up across the country
The tale of Tom the Tomato Plant at Olive at Hawker restaurant
A Vegan Macadamia Milk With Roots in Australia
Fonterra Australia to lift payments to dairy farmers
BHP, Goldman hunt for energy fix amid remote banana plantations
What is A2 milk and what are its claimed benefits?
Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane
Melon industry wants grower named as demand drops 90pc after listeria outbreak
2018-03-12 10:16:09 Sales figures showing that consumers remain unconvinced by industry claims that rockmelons are safe to eat is seeing growers now destroying vast amounts of fruit that cannot be sold. Four people are dead and several others sick after eating rockmelons from a farm in the Riverina in New South Wales. The NSW Food Authority has refused to name the grower, but the industry is calling for them to be identified and explain what caused the outbreak   Read More ...
Banana prices tipped to go up across the country
2018-03-12 10:16:05 Flood damage on banana farms in north Queensland — Australia's largest growing area — is expected to lead to reduced supply and a rise in prices. The full extent of crop losses will not be known until later this week, but farmers who have been able to inspect their plantations estimate tens of thousands of trees will have to be cut down   Read More ...
Coconut rhinoceros beetle tearing through Solomon Islanders' 'tree of life'
2018-03-10 22:08:50 Coconut rhinoceros beetle threatens palm trees and Solomon Islanders' livelihood Solomon Islanders are facing a bleak future as the coconut rhinoceros beetle marches across its fertile plains, killing their "tree of life" by the millions. But these Pacific islanders do not rely on the ubiquitous fruit just for nutrition — the coconuts supply the palms' valuable cash crops of oil and copra, while the tree is also used for building and making essential household goods   Read More ...
What does a farmer look like? There's a good chance she's a woman
2018-03-07 22:18:21 When you hear the word 'farmer', what image comes to mind? If you are relying on an internet search, it is unlikely you pictured a 64-year-old woman with a blonde bob and red lipstick, like Steph Evans. According to research by the Department of Transport and Regional Services, women represent 49 per cent of real farm income in Australia, but almost 90 per cent of the images that pop up in an online image search for 'Australian farmer' depict males   Read More ...
Cane farmer escapes with $500 fine for killing crocodile in far north Queensland
2018-03-07 10:18:07 A far north Queensland cane farmer has been fined $500 for killing a crocodile, despite the maximum penalty for the offence being $28,383. Errol Copley, 69, trapped a 3-metre crocodile at his property at Deeral, south of Cairns, in January. The crocodile drowned, and its carcass was discovered attached to the trap by Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers on January 18   Read More ...
Foxes take $28 million bite out of Australian agricultural sector, so farmers fight back
2018-03-06 22:14:26 Australia's agricultural sector took a $28 million hit at the hands of feral foxes last year with the wool and sheep meat industry particularly hard hit. It's thought foxes inhabit two thirds of the lower part of Australia with Tasmania the only state to have successfully eradicated the pest, which was introduced as early as 1845. Sheep farmers across Australia have long reported losses of lambs to fox predation, however their veracious appetite for small animals is also severely impacting endangered native species   Read More ...
Man Finds Giant Egg Three Times Bigger Than Usual. Inside, Another Egg
2018-03-06 13:10:33 An egg farmer in Australia's Queensland made an 'eggs'trordinary discovery on Saturday. A huge egg almost three times the size of a normal egg was found at the Stockman's Eggs farm in Cairns, Australia. But the farm found something even more bizarre when they cracked open the giant egg - another normal-sized egg inside the bigger egg. The farm posted about the baffling find on Facebook in a post that has since gone viral   Read More ...
Aussie Farmers Direct to close immediately following voluntary administration; 100 franchisees and 260 staff affected
2018-03-05 12:13:50 Grocery delivery service Aussie Farmers Direct will close immediately after falling into voluntary administration today, with administrators saying more than 100 franchisees and 260 staff will be affected by the collapse. The company launched in 2005 as a home delivery service for dairy and juice products across Victoria, before expanding to Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia with a full grocery offering   Read More ...
The 'Invisible Farmer' who saved the family farm
2018-03-04 12:19:48 ‘Invisible Farmer’ is the largest ever study of Australian women on the land, and seeks to reveal the diverse, innovative and vital role of women in agriculture. We meet Kay Tommerup, whose ideas for diversification helped saved the family farm.   Read More ...
Meet the family defying the odds in its transition to organic farming
2018-03-02 22:14:17 In a time of multinational takeovers, one dairy farming family is defying the odds to keep its farm going for generations to come. In the green rolling hills of Tasmania's north-west is the Mt Ellie property— a modest 350-head farm which has been in the Frankcombe family for five generations. But while the fertile soils and high rainfall make it an ideal place to produce top-quality milk, a few years ago the farm was struggling to break even financially   Read More ...
Australian regulator raises competition concerns over Saputo dairy deal
2018-03-01 20:04:46 MONTREAL — Australia’s competition regulator is raising concerns that Saputo Inc.’s proposed purchase of dairy processor Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co. could lower competition and dairy prices paid to farmers. The agency said its concerns focus solely on Murray Goulburn’s largest dairy plant in the western Victoria region, where Saputo would control more than two-thirds of the dairy processing capacity from its existing facility and the addition of the Koroit plant   Read More ...
The tale of Tom the Tomato Plant at Olive at Hawker restaurant
2018-02-23 12:13:01 It all started with a weed, poking through a crack between the footpath and the front wall at Olive at Hawker restaurant. Olive restaurant owners Dimitri and George Yianoulakis didn't think much of it at first - they planned to rip it out. But when it became obvious that it was a mystery tomato plant, staff started watering it instead. The Yianoulakis brothers posted a photo of the plant to the Olive at Hawker Facebook page introducing 'Tom the Tomato Plant' in early February, and the shrub got a lot of love online   Read More ...
The winners and losers in Australia's dairy industry as Murray Goulburn sale looms
2018-02-17 22:10:03 Stephen Coulston's cows trudge back from the milking shed as the dawn mist rises from the lush pastures. In the town of Tangambalanga, a stone's throw across the paddocks, steam rises from Murray Goulburn's dairy factory. But the rich milk from these cows won't be going to the local factory. Instead, it will be trucked 200 kilometres away to a processing plant at Kyabram   Read More ...
Ballarat mining company uses cow poo to power a Bungaree dairy farm
2018-02-16 20:21:03 A western Victorian mining company is turning poo into gold by converting the smelly waste into a valuable asset — energy. Gekko Systems has designed and built a bio digester on a dairy farm at Bungaree, outside Ballarat, and is hoping the renewable technology could be used across farming and beyond. Technical director of Gekko Systems Sandy Gray said the minerals processing specialists were becoming "true alchemists"   Read More ...
'A backstage pass to our farm': Small-scale dairy operation opens up to guests
2018-02-10 22:10:45 There is a saying in Australian agriculture — "get big or get out". But one family in Queensland says it is proof small farms can be profitable. Kay and Dave Tommerup have one of the smallest commercial dairy herds in Queensland. "In a room full of dairy farmers, it's like you're a complete joke," Ms Tommerup said. "Before we were ashamed of it, but now we've got a business that's successful, and it doesn't matter that we milk 47 cows, we're doing it the way we want to and we're proud of it   Read More ...
UFO culture: State Library of Queensland collects its own X-Files
2018-02-10 15:12:46 A banana grower drove his tractor along a narrow track at the edge of a sugar cane farm in Tully, north Queensland on January 16, 1966. The weather was calm, the morning sun high in the sky. The tractor passed over the track with its usual rumble, but beneath it the banana grower detected a faint hiss. He leant forward to investigate, assuming his tyres had a leak, but his eye caught something else instead   Read More ...
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority faces probe after audit
2018-02-08 12:52:34 The pesticides authority is facing another probe as it moves to Armidale, after a parliamentary inquiry began looking into the agency. A national audit report found in June last year that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority had failed to prepare for the disruption its forced move to northern NSW caused, a criticism that Labor branded unfair as the agency tried to follow a government order to relocate from Canberra   Read More ...
Queensland farmers looking to wind farms for drought relief
2018-02-07 22:14:29 A community of Queensland farmers hopes a wind farm, set to be the southern hemisphere's largest, will be able to drought-proof their futures. Ten years in the making, a sod was turned yesterday on the Coopers Gap project, west of Brisbane. A total of 123 turbines will be built across a dozen properties, over the South Burnett and Western Downs council areas, with landowners benefiting from leasing arrangements   Read More ...
Dingo fence dismantlement could help farmers and the environment, ecologist claims
2018-02-04 00:08:36 Australia's dingo fence, stretching more than 5,000 kilometres across the country, is the longest fence in the world. It's designed to keep the wild dogs roaming on one side, and livestock safe on the other side. But some ecologists, including Flinders University's Professor Corey Bradshaw, believe the fence is not the best defence, either for agriculture or the environment. "I'm not going to say it would be great for everyone   Read More ...
'Nothing will be safe': Fears after 20,000 'ravenous' fish escape in Australia
2018-02-01 15:45:03 There are fears thousands of "ravenous" kingfish that escaped a government jointly run fish farm in Australia will devastate a marine park's wild fish population. Up to 17,000 predatory yellowtail kingfish, used to being fed automatically, are now hunting in marine park waters off Port Stephens, NSW. Last week, 20,000 of the fish escaped from a fish-farm sea cage, described as a "fortress pen", that was destroyed in rough seas   Read More ...
Calls for independent review of Port Stephens' fish farm after 20,000 kingfish hit marine park
2018-02-01 15:14:25 The failure of a fish farm "fortress pen" that saw 20,000 kingfish escape into the Port Stephens' marine park has led to calls for an independent review of the controversial project. Concern has been raised about self-regulation of the trial research project that is a joint venture between the NSW government and Tasmanian-based Huon Aquaculture. Port Stephens MP Kate Washington said it was not appropriate for the fish-farm operators to police themselves   Read More ...
Australian broiler farm sold to egg producer
2018-01-31 00:26:10 Poultry farm conversion from meat to eggs a saviour. Adelaide, 29 January, 2018 - A former broiler farm which had its chicken growing contract terminated due to Baiada's exit from the Australian state of Victoria in 2017 has been sold to a local egg producer for around $3.5 million. The deal, negotiated by Colliers International's intensive livestock property expert Jesse Manuel, marks one of the first out-of-contract broiler farms which will be converted to an alternate use, since the shut down of Baiada's plant in Victoria   Read More ...
A Vegan Macadamia Milk With Roots in Australia
2018-01-30 21:10:36 Add macadamia to the growing parade of vegan nut milks. A line of four is showing up in dairy cases and online. The milk is pressed from raw nuts grown on a family farm in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia, the macadamia’s native habitat. The farm cultivates the trees in a manner said to promote healthy soil   Read More ...
Barwon Prison expansion: Farmer neighbours' land could be a steal
2018-01-27 03:09:21 Buying land near a prison may not seem the wisest investment. But for a Lara farming couple, the $190,000 they paid for two blocks behind Barwon Prison is starting to look like a steal. The couple, who do not wish to be named, own the two blocks immediately to the east of the prison, which the state government is set to expand   Read More ...
Secret benefactor pledges cash to help fight 'big salmon'
2018-01-24 04:07:48 Secret benefactor pledges to match donations to anti-salmon farm campaign in Tasmania A benefactor has pledged to donate up to $50,000 to boost a green group's campaign against "big salmon" and the expansion of fish farming in Tasmania, but their identity is being kept secret. Environment Tasmania announced a "very generous donor" had offered to match public donations to its salmon "consumer information campaign" which aims to "tell customers the full story of where their salmon comes from and the impact salmon farming is having on Tasmania's precious marine environment" ahead of the state election   Read More ...
'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 ...