FARM INSTITUTE INSIGHTS

Vol. 14 | No. 2 | May 2017


Australian agricultural trade and
the populism of protectionism

Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US President have been interpreted by some as a desire by electorates to retreat from globalisation and return to protectionist and nationalistic policies. If this scenario eventuates, circumstances could signal the end of rapid growth in international trade that has occurred since China’s entrance to the WTO in 2001. Cheryl Kalisch Gordon, Former Trade & Economics Manager at GrainGrowers Ltd, and Michael Finucan, General Manager of International Markets at Meat & Livestock Australia, discuss the meaning of this premise for the future of Australian trade policy, and Australian agricultural trade. (more)


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IN MY VIEW

Andrew Broad MP, Nationals Member for Mallee, and Cathy McGowan AO MP, Federal Independent Member for Indi, discuss increases in the number of independents and minor party candidates elected to both state and national parliaments; the advantages or disadvantages of either having, or not having an independent or minor party representative in parliament; and the main factors contributing to this trend. (more)


IN THE PIPELINE

Access to affordable and reliable energy supplies for all users is critical to maintaining the international competitiveness of Australian agriculture. The rising cost of electricity is currently one of the biggest concerns for many agricultural producers, particularly those in intensive industries. What is needed to develop a transparent national policy capable of delivering sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy for agriculture? (more)


DISCOVERIES

Agriculture is now a high-tech industry where very little is left to chance. It has entered an era of rapid development and implementation of new technology where digital disruption is helping to combat significant issues such as a changing climate, while at the same time bringing farmers closer to increasingly choosy customers. Traditional RD&E models will be challenged in this environment where new technology providers are frequently emerging. (more)


FARM POLICY NEWS

Australian and international farm policy news - in this issue: 457 visas scrapped; the Brazilian meat scandal; further sweeteners in Australia-Japan trade deal; the Northern Territory Government warns the NBN on ‘technically inferior’ service; and fears that data sabotage could lead to failed crops. (more)


CROSSING THE DIVIDE

An extraordinary debate regarding the safety of glyphosate has recently taken place in Europe. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the widely used broad spectrum herbicide, often better known by its original trade name, Roundup. Roundup was developed and released for commercial use in 1974 by Monsanto and has since become one of the most widely used chemicals in agriculture. (more)


INSTITUTE ACTIVITIES

Following agriculture’s bumper year in 2016, the Institute has been sought for comment on whether 2017 will be as successful – in FarmOnline ‘Ag’s big money year unlikely to repeat in 2017’, and ABC News ‘Bumper year in agriculture won’t be repeated, Queensland missed the boom: report.’ The Precision to Decision project also garnered media attention: ‘Digital check-up takes pulse of ag tech take-up’ and ‘How digital ag and big data can help growers'. (more)