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Farm Institute Insights, Vol. 11, No. 4, November 2014

Time to rethink farmland environmental policies

According to scientists and environmental groups, the current environmental policy settings in Australia are inadequate to prevent accelerating and irreparable damage to the environment. They variously claim that species loss is continuing and perhaps increasing, land degradation is endemic, native vegetation is being destroyed, and water use is unsustainable. If these claims are correct, then perhaps it’s time to consider a radically different set of policies, and not more of the same. (more)

In the Pipeline

The ‘people factor’ in the future of the Australian grains industry - Labour resources from the grains industry workforce are a key input for Australian grain production and the supply of appropriately skilled people to the industry workforce is critical to the effective and efficient operation of the industry into the future. The Institute is undertaking a research project on grains industry skills training and people capacity-building activities. (more)

Discoveries

Grains extension systems that transfer knowledge to farmers about ways to improve farm productivity and sustainability have undergone considerable change in recent decades. Government agencies have either withdrawn or reoriented their extension services and private-sector extension services have increasingly become more important. AFI has researched the changes that have occurred in the extension services associated with grains industries in other countries such as the United States, Brazil and Denmark. This research included visiting and meeting people in each of these countries to obtain first-hand insights on grains extension services that are relevant to the future of the Australian grains industry. (more)

In My View

In this edition, The Hon Bruce Billson MP and Mick Keogh discuss how Australia’s competition legislation can be improved to protect small businesses and farmers. (more)

Crossing the Divide

How significant Australia’s agriculture sector might be as a future source of food for hungry Asian consumers is a subject of some debate. Many media reports throw around the term ‘Asia’s food bowl’ without considering either the scale of Asian food consumption, or the scale or potential of Australian food production. (more)

Farm Policy News

In this edition, Crimea river of gas, and Canada is winning the legume race to Delhi. (more)

Institute Activities

The Institute has recently run a series of seminars on: The ‘people factor’ in the future of the Australian grains industry – observations from overseas and implications for Australia. (more)

Images:  AWB, Francisco Anzola, Clare Bellfield, Lori Branham, CAFNR Bradford Research Center in Columbia, CIMMYT, CSIRO, Daniel X, Dairy Australia, GrainCorp Limited, IRRI, Mick Keogh, Little River Landcare Group, Stefano Lubiana, Geoff Penaluna, Reilly., Serendigity, USDA

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