FARM INSTITUTE INSIGHTS
Vol. 12 | No. 3 | August 2015
Look over the grain fence: greener on the other side?
A recent research report from AEGIC examined the nature of Canada's grain export system and the implications for Australia's grain export sector. The main implication would appear to be a likely gradual erosion of Australia's relative advantage in grain exporting. Australia seems destined to slip down the grain export rankings. (more)
IN MY VIEW
Almost three years on, has the Murray-Darling Basin Plan delivered on its promises? The Institute interviewed two industry experts with differing policy viewpoints, Dr Arlene Harriss-Buchan from the Australian Conservation Foundation and Gavin McMahon from the National Irrigators' Council, to gain their opinions on this issue. (more)
IN THE PIPELINE
Agricultural research, development and extension (RD&E) has long been recognised as a significant driver of productivity in the Australian agriculture sector. However, despite almost universal support in principle, there is little consensus amongst farmers or policy-makers about what is the optimal level of RD&E expenditure for the sector. (more)
At the Institute's recent Future Trade Opportunities for Australian Agriculture conference there was general agreement about the need to transition the Australian agricultural sector from a plain old commodity exporter to a more innovative consumer product exporter. However, a significant sticking point in the discussion was exactly what role a national brand should play in the transition. (more)
FARM POLICY NEWS
The US Senate recently approved the trade promotion authority to speed up negotiations for the TPP; the Obama Administration is boosting support for western US states still coping with the record drought; ABARES warns of strengthening El Nino; and the Russian Government extended retaliatory bans by one year against Western food imports.
CROSSING THE DIVIDE
Research group IBISWorld recently published analysis on the levels of profitability of companies in different sectors of the Australian economy. The results appeared to paint the agriculture sector in a very poor light, so some further investigation was undertaken in order to gain a better understanding of how the numbers were calculated. (more)
The topic of the John Ralph Essay Competition for 2015 is: Australian agriculture should forget about the pursuit of productivity, and instead focus on premium markets. The competition awards two prizes - Open: $5000 and Novice: $1000, plus free attendance at the 2015 Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference, which will be held at the Hilton Sydney on 4 & 5 November, 2015. (more)