Vol. 13 | No. 4 | November 2016

Is the Black Sea a dark cloud over Australia’s grains industry?

Recent research reports from AEGIC examine the grains industry in Ukraine and Russia; main players in what is known as the Black Sea region. The findings of the reports are sobering reading for Australia’s grains industry.

Against the Black Sea region's competitive strengths, what can the Australian grains industry do? Is carrying on as usual good enough? Is the strength of the Black Sea a temporary phenomenon that will quickly pass? (more)



Dr Peter Stahle, Australian Dairy Products Federation, and David Basham, Australian Dairy Farmers, answer questions about the dairy industry, following a very tumultuous year. Particularly focusing on how risk is attributed in contract arrangements, and whether farmers and processors should have paid more attention to very clear market signals about an impending milk price drop. (more)


The Institute, through its Research Advisory Committee, has identified right to farm issues as a high priority for further research. The term ‘right to farm’ has been widely used to refer to the right of a farmer to utilise farm land for normal agricultural activities without being constrained by complaints or legal actions initiated by neighbours who object to the sights, noises and smells of normal farming operations. (more)


If trends observed in the US are any indication, we may soon be seeing the establishment of farm data cooperatives in Australia. A recent trip to the US, investigating digital agriculture and big data for the Precision to Decision Rural Research and Development for Profit program found that several data cooperatives have emerged as a response to farmers wanting to have greater control over how their data is being used. (more)


Updates on Australian and international farm policy news. In this issue: municipal policy affects Canadian feedlot production costs; Russian biosecurity concerns; common sense prevails with Australia’s backpacker tax; and no improvement for US corn prices, although farm returns are set to increase for 2016. (more)


One issue about which there seems to be a considerable divide between urban and rural Australia is foreign ownership of farmland. The ongoing saga of the proposed sale of the Kidman farming business seems to have reignited this debate, but has certainly not brought any more logic to the discussion. (more)


Foreign ownership has (again) been a topic of much media attention, with the Institute being sought for comment. The Trans Pacific Partnership has also been in the news, with the Institute quoted on ABC Rural, in the article: ‘Trump, Brexit and the polarisation of politics checks global agricultural trade.’ (more)