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Agriculture doing all the work on reducing greenhouse emissions

Mick Keogh - Monday, January 30, 2017

The Australian agriculture sector is almost entirely responsible for Australia meeting its international greenhouse emission commitments, with the sector being virtually the only economic sector to have reduced annual emissions since 1990, and also contributing more than 80% of the total emission reduction contracted under the Australian Government's Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) auctions. Greenhouse emission abatement projects contracted under the ERF are now generating an estimated $239 million in annual revenue for Australian farmers.  View the rest of the post here

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What goes faster - farmers or racehorses?

Mick Keogh - Monday, November 14, 2016

The recent running of the Melbourne Cup provided an opportunity to compare the productivity gains by the thoroughbred racing industry and the Australian farm sector. By using improvements in the time of the winning horse as a proxy for productivity gains by the thoroughbred industry, and the recently published national agricultural productivity growth figures for Australia published by the US Department of Agriculture an interesting comparison can be made. Which sector do you think has enjoyed the greatest 'productivity growth'? View the rest of the post here

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The changing face of Australian agriculture.

Mick Keogh - Monday, September 26, 2016

The average Australian farmer now manages a business with an asset value of close to five million dollars, and is now spending an increasing amount of time managing staff and talking to technical advisors, rather than actually doing all the physical work on the farm. These two changes have significant implications when considering what skills the 'average' farmer will need in the future, and how new farmers will get a start in the sector. View the rest of the post here

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Is an Australia-UK trade agreement more cultural cringe than commercial reality?

Mick Keogh - Monday, September 19, 2016

In the wake of the decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, there has been some speculation that the move will create opportunities for Australia, and that serious efforts should be made to negotiate a free trade deal between the UK and Australia. From the perspective of Australian agriculture, the proposal makes little sense and there appears to be much bigger trade opportunities much closer to home that need pursuing. View the rest of the post here

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Carbon now worth more than $190 million annually for farmers

Mick Keogh - Friday, August 26, 2016

The farm sector is one of the major beneficiaries of the Australian Government's Emission Reduction Fund auction process, and the annual revenue being generated by landholders continues to grow - seemingly under the radar. While there is some uncertainty about what might happen when funds currently allocated to this process have been all utilised, there is no doubt that it has created new opportunities for many landholders who will continue to reap the benefits for years to come. View the rest of the post here

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Is it time agricultural risk was shared along the supply chain?

Mick Keogh - Saturday, July 30, 2016

One of the most interesting responses to the recent dramatic and retrospective price reductions in the dairy sector has been the disbelief expressed by senior executives in sectors such as banking, manufacturing, transport and IT about the extent to which major processors in the dairy sector can simply put all the price risk onto dairy farmers, and even retrospectively change the price those farmers are paid. View the rest of the post here

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Digital agriculture promise out of mobile telephone reach

Mick Keogh - Sunday, June 05, 2016

Lack of access to mobile telephone coverage is looming as the single biggest barrier that is preventing Australian farmers adopting a wide range of digital technologies that will provide the next big leap in agricultural productivity. View the rest of the post here

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A budget entrée, but what will the main course look like?

Richard Heath - Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The 2016 Federal Budget seems more like an entrée than the main course voters have traditionally expected to be served up at this time each year. The big issues – such as the measures that will be needed to reduce the long-term budget deficit now running at an estimated $37 billion per year – have been left for a future date, as have decisions on issues such as university funding, the tax system, and the major infrastructure investment that will be required to lift national productivity. View the rest of the post here

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Commonwealth vegetation trigger may open up new possibilities for farmers

Mick Keogh - Thursday, April 28, 2016

Over the last few days, the federal Opposition has announced new greenhouse emission reduction policies, which includes a Commonwealth Government 'trigger' mechanism which would enable the Commonwealth to over-ride decisions by State Governments in relation to native vegetation management. In particular, if implemented this would mean that in the event the Commonwealth considered that state legislation was too lenient, it could override that legislation and impose stricter controls. While the proposal might fill landholders with horror, it might also trigger a long-awaited move to implement mandatory compensation payments to farmers for the public good carbon sequestration services associated with the retention of trees on farms. View the rest of the post here

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Ukraine grain challenge a wakeup for Australian growers

Mick Keogh - Tuesday, April 26, 2016
If ever there was a classic example of the challenge facing Australian agriculture - and the Australian grain sector in particular - it is the challenge that Ukraine is posing to Australian grain exporters in international markets. Despite the political uncertainty and economic turmoil that persists in the Ukraine, the nation is a growing competitor in international grain markets, and in particular in markets Australians might have previously considered 'ours' in Asia and the Middle East. View the rest of the post here
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