Recent comments by: practical farmer

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

The very label "Organic" is trying to suggest that only organic food is safe, and that the rest is suspect. There is no evidence to support this assumption. However, non-organic wears the implication that it is somehow inferior, which is clearly untrue. We could not feed ourselves, let alone the world, if we had to rely on organic production. It is simply a feel-good exercise for consumers wealthy enough to afford the price.
Congratulation David.

Agribusiness

The argument is not about whether the climate is changing, it is about what do we do about it.
There are those who believe that a crippling tax and the destruction of our economy (and the chance of relief for the 3rd world) is going to significantly change the planet's climate, and then there are those who understand that the temperature will continue to rise, deal with that prospect, and that problems like world poverty, hunger etc., deserve more of our attention.
yet another example of a mis-informed group trying to put agriculture out of business with more interference, taxes, etc., driven by a warm fuzzy feeling.
Why don't they get off the CO2 band wagon and have a look at what is really going on?
Why is the small business definition based on turnover? Many farmers would exceed $2M yet make no profit, whilst many other small businesses with a turnover of $1M would be making a significant profit. Surely, the criteria should be profit, not simply turnover, which works against agriculture. Agriculture deals in large capital, large turnover, slender margins.
I would have thought that it is farmers who are selling farms to foreigners, who happen to be the highest bidder, not the Federal Government. This has been going on under both parties. I am not sure that most farmers would want to see the highest bidders excluded from the market entirely, so let's be sensible about this issue. "Foreigners" have been settling and acquiring land on this continent for 200+ years.
It is staggering that so called well educated funds managers have such little grasp on reality. Land clearing per se does NOT lead to degradation. The whole of Europe, much of North America, etc. have all been :cleared: over hundreds of years, to support the population of the globe. No land has been "cleared" in our region for over 100 years, and we can increase our productivity continuously (with some challenges admittedly). Perhaps these fund managers should give up eating food as a sign of their good faith, rather than simply serving a left wing agenda.
The dissenting voices are showing their true colours - they are more interested in putting Australian agriculture out of business, than seeing an essential trade deal concluded. No negotiation ever yields everything a country would like, but this deal is imperative for many sectors. Beef is already behind the USA and we will continue to slip further behind and lose hard earned market share simply because we cannot match the benefit if the KORUS tariff reduction. Please stop playing politics with our future,
We all know that farmers should put money away in good years to ride out the bad. The problem with this is that prices are so low compared with skyrocketing costs that there is nothing left to put away. If there is, it goes out in tax.
The Federal Government needs to urgently address our high cost structure: fuel, power, freight, waterfront, processing, rates, tax etc. Australia has priced itself out of world markets, and agriculture can only compete by reducing the price paid to farmers. This is no comfort to those in desperate trouble, but without higher prices, there is little hope for us
Memories are very short. Remember the US Meat Import Law which restricted our shipments to the US in times of high production and crippled our exports? The MIL destroyed the US beef trade out of the North by the way quotas were applied.
We now have the ability to take advantage of the growing preference for grass fed product in the US and to maintain consistent access, and in the meantime time, the tariff will keep falling. Our problems are home grown, with our high cost structure post farm gate making us uncompetitive, and keeping cattle prices low.
There is no food shortage - people starve because they are short of money, or their Government prefers to buy tanks, weapons and ammunition rather than look after the population.
There have been predictions that we will run out of food for hundreds of years. We can produce much more quite easily provided we get the right price signals - in other words, pay us more money, and give us a signal that this higher price level will continue.
Mr.Hadler is totally out of touch. As a producer, I object to him saying that AA has a legitimate interest, as important as mine! I spend 12 months a year producing cattle, and am committed to their welfare through good and bad seasons - what do the AA members do? He should go back to UK, and Chernobyl, BSE, eColi, salmonella, FMD, and where consumers have reason to be cautious about food they buy. Australian consumers have not had the same bad experiences, and should not be barraged with negativity about our product.

Cropping

The ever rising temperature in the last 30,000 years since the end of the last ice age has seen many extended fluctuations up and down. How did the bees cope with the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages, the Mediaeval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, just to mention a few recent events? Why does everything have to be seen through the prism of "climate change". Many other things are going on as well, that we may be able to do something about.
It all sounds convincing until they say that the world was 3-4 degress warmer when CO2 levels were last at 400ppm than the 19th century. The 19th century included the end of the Little Ice Age, which was several degrees cooler than the Mediaeval Warm Period 400 years before, when it was warmer than now without elevated CO2. They also don't mention the increased volume of plant material grown with elevated CO2, only the lowwering of protein levels. I just wish we could get the whole picture sometimes.

General

Those of us who have been around for a while remember when milk was not pasteurised or homogenised as a matter of course. Pasteurisation was done because of TB. As a result of a $1B eradication programme, TB and brucellosis have gone from Australia.
The reaction to the idea of drinking untreated milk, which is actually easier to digest, is ridiculous. Many foods can kill you if they are contaminated, kept too long, stored at the wrong temperature. Humans had developed means of working this out, but we seem to have lost our common sense along with our sense of smell.
The problem with the IPCC is the lack of any explanation as to the cause of the mediaeval warm period, the Roman warm period, or the Little Ice Age. If the industrial revolution has caused this warmer period, what caused the others? They always use 1850 as the base temperature, as this was the end of the Little Ice Age, and makes the figures more alarming. Catastrophic weather has been a factor in earths climate for billions of years. A sensible discussion of adaptation options would be beneficial, rather than the black armband view that we now have to destroy our economy to fix it all up.

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