Trade remains as crucial as ever to the agriculture sector in Australia. Many commodity sectors are strongly dependent on overseas markets and domestic producers continue to seek viable export options. The research, which is the subject of this report, seeks to identify enduring trends in overseas trade and provide guidance to agricultural policy-makers aiming to improve Australia’s agricultural trade performance.
Jaimie Lovell, NSW Farmers’ Association, and Roger Fletcher, Fletcher International Exports, give their views on the potential of inland rail. Biosecurity risks increase as Australian agriculture moves into premium markets, and beware the statistics in media reports on land clearing.
The use of digital agriculture systems enables farmers to change from paddock and herd average management, to square metre and individual animal management, with reported subsequent increases in farm productivity. Gains of the order of 10% to 15% have been recorded in cropping systems.
Factors that affect the demand for, and hence the value of farm land are many and varied, and often poorly understood. Many farmers complain that land values are unsustainable relative to earning capacity, yet existing landholders are often the most aggressive purchasers of additional land.
David Williams and Tom Howard on the advantages and disadvantages of agricultural cooperatives; when the media can’t tell the difference between ‘advocacy science’ and ‘real science’; and enhancing private-sector agricultural RD&E investment in Australia.