Lamb goes gangbusters
EXPORT demand for Australian lamb has pushed sales to record prices in the past week, but industry has questioned whether prices are sustainable. Over-the-hooks rates have risen rapidly, with the Eastern States trade lamb indicator sitting at $5.66 a kilogram on Monday and heavy lambs at $5.87/kg. Following last week's record $230 price tag at Dublin, prices eased slightly this week on the 19,000 yarding but CIAA auctioneer Peter Pinkerton said it was not back much...
El Nino odds increase
A NOTICEABLE warming of the eastern and central Pacific over the past few months is increasing odds towards an El Nino developing later this year. El Nino is one extreme of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena, in which La Nina is its counterpart. El Nino (the warm phase) occurs when warmer than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) prevail over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean (from late winter to late autumn), accompanied by high atmospheric pressure over the western Pacific...
Flock rebuilding driving sheep prices
AMB and sheep prices will continue to rise, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) forecasts, and look likely to stay firm or rise even further out to 2018-19. Flock rebuilding is underpinning buoyant pricing: ABARES estimates the flock will have dropped to 71.8 million head by June 2014, and will rebuild to 75 million head by the end of 2018-19...
El Nino thread turns up heat
FARMERS and firefighters, already dogged by a hot, dry summer for much of Australia, may face worsening conditions later in the year as prospects grow for an El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific. A series of heatwaves and a spreading drought is expected to cut the output of summer crops by 25 percent for 2013-14 to the lowest level since 2009-10...
Wool's heart-warming help
THE offer of a free blanket is eagerly snapped up by a group of homeless people in Sydney's CBD. The fact it's spring and unseasonably warm matters little. "They disappeared in seconds," says Hayley Olsson. She's seen first-hand how valued blankets are - and not just by the homeless, but by the services that support them. They know a blanket will keep someone who is sleeping rough alive at night.
Celebrating Alexander the Great's lost world
In the mountains of Hindu Kush, on the Pakistan and Afghan border, live Kalash people. Blond-haired and blue-eyed, the 'lost children of Alexander the Great' is how they are often referred to. The remote valley of the lost children of the Macedon emperor was only one of the numerous stops on seven filming trips to Alexander's lost world that Australian photojournalist and filmmaker David Adams conducted over six years...
Advice for a Business Studies student
I received a delightful note recently from Olivia Hill, a 12- year-old, year eight student at Aylsham Business and Enterprise School in Norfolk. She is just starting her first GCSE in Business Studies and asked yours truly about the key enterprising skills I used when first starting out. Having replied to Olivia, I thought some other young business students might like to read my reply too, so here it is...
National rainfall outlook
The chances of exceeding the median rainfall during November to January are 30 to 40% over most of Queensland, most of the NT, northeast SA and northern NSW. In other words, the chances of below average rainfall are 60 to 70% over these areas. So, for every ten November to January outlooks with similar odds to these, about three or four of them would result in above-average rainfall over these areas...
Ag addressing Asian markets
THE Asian century is very much at the fore again this week with the release of today's Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) report What Asia Wants, following hot on the heels of Deloitte's economic forecast. Deloitte predicted the Australian economy could grow by $250 billion over 20 years by promoting five key industries that will benefit from growth in Asia, which included agribusiness...
July red meat exports to China - highest on record
Australian red meat (beef and veal, lamb, mutton and goat) exports to China during July reached the highest monthly volume on record, at 23,057 tonnes swt, compared to 4,110 tonnes swt in July 2012 (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)...
AFTER a valiant fight with ill health, our dear friend John Cox lost his battle and sadly passed away last week aged 72 years. John is survived by his wife Sue, his sister Margaret and the much loved father and father-in-law of Richard and Sarah, Andrew and Rebecca, and Anthony and Cassie and their extended families...
Winter 2013 Newsletter
The sheep industry has been debating Ovine Johnes Disease control recently. Petali has a property biosecurity plan, commenced 1998, that is Monitored Negative 3 (MN3), the highest level in the Market Assurance Program. Petali is also included in the New England regional biosecurity plan known as NTRBA...
Letter from Cambodia
Greeting from Cambodia!! In fact, I cant hear you so long time. How are you in the last time? How about your family and your work? That ok? I hope you will set a schedule to visit Cambodia again soonest. In fact, our country welcome all of you all time. I am very happy if you have a chance to visit our county again. I will try of the best to support you all time...
Minerals halt sheep staggers
THE green pick of phalaris in certain areas of the State has also brought an increase in the risk of phalaris staggers, with reported cases in the South East on the rise. It is the most common form of poisoning seen in South Australia, especially on cobalt deficient soils, caused by the production of indole alkaloids in the young shoots of the phalaris plant. The compound affects the central nervous system and sheep display frequent falling over, incoordination, muscle tremors and limb weakness...
Zanda McDonald Award
We announced at this year's conference that the PPP Group would launch the Zanda McDonald Award in honour of Zanda - and also to encourage the next generation of agri-leaders to step forward.