The Australia-US free trade agreement (FTA) was passed in the US House of Representatives and US Congress.
The FTA was passed 314 votes to 109 in the House and 80 to 16 in the Congress but still has to be passed in the Australian Senate.
An immediate gain for Australian beef after the FTA is implemented will be elimination of the 4.4US¢/kg in-quota tariff.
The 378,214-tonne Australian beef quota to the US will increase by 70,000t over an 18-year period and 26.4pc out-of-quota tariff will gradually be eliminated from year nine to 18.
WA trade office in Korea
THE WA Government opened a new trade office in South Korea two weeks ago to boost exports to the booming Asian economy.
In opening the new trade office in Seoul, Deputy Premier Eric Ripper said WA's clean, green image and top quality products and services meant it was well placed to penetrate the Korean market.
In 2002-03 exports from WA to South Korea totalled $3.4 billion, with the most trade based in resources.
However, South Korea is the state's largest agricultural export market, mainly comprised of wheat, lupins, barley and beef.
Red meat more popular
NEW research has found positive attitudes to red meat were on the rise, with Australian household cooks less likely to limit consumption of red meat compared to this time last year.
The research, conducted by Sweeny Research for Dairy Australia, found 24pc of mothers less than 40 years of age limited consumption of red meat compared to 44pc a year ago.
"Similarly, the percentage of mothers limiting dairy consumption has almost halved over the last 12 months," Meat and Livestock Australia marketing manager David Thomason said.
MLA believed its Red Meat Feel Good marketing campaign had helped consolidate the positive shift.
NSW Farmers endorses NLIS
THE National Livestock Identification Scheme (NLIS) for cattle was given unanimous thumbs up at the NSW Farmers' Association annual conference in Sydney last week.
Only two of 450 delegates at the conference voted against NLIS.
The NSW Farmers Association has also set up a complaints register to identify and follow-up any problems found with the system.
In NSW NLIS was being phased in from July this year until July next year.
"The State (NSW) Government and other agencies involved with the introduction of NLIS are on notice that all issues must be addressed by the end of next January or the Association will reconsider its support," NSW Farmers Association cattle committee chairman Nick Keating said.
New powers for farmers
AUSTRALIAN farmers, fishers and foresters are to have legislated collective bargaining powers to help strengthen their hand in dealings with big business, including supermarkets.
The new legislation, which would include collective bargaining arrangements and strengthened predatory pricing clauses, was introduced into Federal parliament last month as part of a major package of amendments to the Trade Practices Act 1974.
"As I travel around Australia meeting with farmers one of the most common complaints I hear is that they fear the power of the big business with which they deal," Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said.
He said the legislation demonstrated that the Coalition Government had listened and the big business fear factor would be wound back for rural and regional small business.
Top 25 feedlots
A MEAT and Australia profile of Australia's top 25 feedlots has found they accounted for 56pc of accredited lotfeeder turn-off in 2003 and the top five accounted for 27pc of total turn-off.
The ranking also revealed the average feed to carcase weight turn-off ratio is about five tonnes per 1000kg of carcase weight turned off for the top 25.
The top 25 lotfeeder list is a biennial ranking based on the turnover and capacity of grainfed beef industry participants.
The most favoured destination of export markets by the top 25 were Japan, US and Korea.