Recent comments by: morrgo

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

Wow, nothing like the uproar of people made to face their own ignorance! Pretty telling that many responses contain no fact, just invective.
On the issue, I would want fair competition enforced to avoid market failure. Bird densities SHOULD be shown on egg cartons, and eggs from 20,000 bird/ha factories should not be allowed to advertise with photos of chooks in lush meadows.
27/08/15 12:19 AM
@genazzano: From a farming-system point of view, organic makes good scientific sense. A more diverse system is more resilient and more sustainable.
The problem is, that organic systems require inputs that are very limited, especially animal manure. Hence, they are not scaleable and able to replace modern practices in a major way. Plus, produce scarcity is needed for the price premium: with abundance economics would suffer.
The best way is to introduce elements of organic production into modern practice in order to promote soil-biota diversity and, thus, health. Even with GM crops!
05/06/14 12:06 AM
"Free range" at densities required for profitability equal to cage-kept is a travesty in animal-welfare terms.
Not only that: the hygienic handling of cage-produced eggs cannot be equalled in any other technology but the most boutique, labour-intensive situations.
Thus, Coles' cynical marketing drive has public-health implications that need thorough assessment.
06/03/13 11:03 PM

Agribusiness

@GFA: you need to read things more carefully. Only 17% are worse off, 49% the same, and 27% better off.
So, significantly more gainers than losers. There is no reform where everyone gains.
15/07/15 12:54 AM
Coles has clearly run out of ideas for fighting fair.
23/06/15 12:10 AM
@Makka: If only. Unfortunately, Coleworths have committed to phasing out cage eggs in a couple of years. Parallel with weeding out the free-range shonkery blighting the genuine free-rangers, we need pressure on the supermarkets to retain some sanity and keep stocking cage eggs.
09/06/15 12:47 AM
So, the eternal mirage of biofuels is on the horizon once again, despite being shown consistently to bring net economic and environmental COSTS to society.
23/04/15 11:34 PM
Local independents are a nice sound bite but they are not going to put the heat on Coleworths.
Only Aldi can do that and the key to their expansion is the availability of sites for new stores. Coleworths have been tying up potential sites to deny them to competitors: governments need to apply a use-it-or-lose-it pressure.
20/04/15 10:45 PM
Yesterday the panic was about the Japanese and the Yanks, today the Chinese and tomorrow possibly the Indians. The rules are colour blind.
If the FIRB had balls they would sue the real-estate spruikers for defamation.
26/03/15 11:25 PM
Councils are partly to blame Allowing ColeWorths to set up shops and warehouse potential development sites strategically close to their other ones stifles competition.
If such practices were banned, IGA and Aldi would find it cheaper and easier to open new shops and increase competition.
02/02/15 10:16 PM
@kermit: There HAVE BEEN long-term studies into GM, also meta analyses aplenty, all published in scientific journals. They all concluded that no adverse affects can be identified. The two studies claiming otherwise have been discredited and withdrawn by the journal that published them.
You can read them all at your leisure instead of obfuscating by asking for more of the same.
21/12/14 10:05 PM
So, Mr Durkan mislead the Senate committee. Surely, there should be sanctions for that.
I don't think the ignorance defence has any credibility.
17/12/14 11:16 PM
So, why did the NFF jump ship?
So much for standing up for its constituents...
08/12/14 10:13 PM

Cropping

@Jock Munro: So, just rein in the market and impose a price. It worked so well for woolgrowers ...
17/09/15 10:46 PM
Great announcement fodder.
Meanwhile, in real life, the grains industry is sticking its collective head deep into the sand instead of supporting the eradication of pests like Red Witchweed.
15/12/14 10:59 PM
Scientists can do anything in their power, and this will matter not an iota for the usual conspiracy theorists. These people always demand more research while willfully ignoring the existing scientific literature.
26/03/15 11:18 PM
For all those commenters who declare the study "crap", here it is, open access: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/ article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0 111629 .
Just provide a scientifically robust critique, rather than dismissing it unread because it doesn't fit with your prejudices.
23/03/15 11:36 PM
Is the contrast between the article and the illustration of the lily-white plastic bread intentional - or the editorial staff don't get it either?
30/11/14 10:59 PM
@wtf: The most reliable way of finding out what buyers think is by making GM foods available for purchase. Outright bans on their production is denying buyers a say.
As for the rest of your 'points', scientific evidence is clear about the safety of GM. I am lost, though, on why anti-GM would be wedded to small business.
09/10/14 11:57 PM
@Jock: canegrowers could have bought the milling assets that were on the market for years, but did not. Always expecting the "government" to enforce a "fair" price was called socialism and it did not work.
03/07/14 11:40 PM
It is unfortunate that Mr Marsh volunteered the material for a legal test case against GM. He could have just taken measures to remove the perceived threat to his crop, and saved everyone the cost and hassle.
16/06/14 11:23 PM
The anti-GM lobby has been clearly spoiling for a celebrity test-case against GM. They failed here, they will try again. Farmers are just collateral damage in this fight, whether they are willing collaborators like Mr Marsh or victims like Mr Baxter.
10/06/14 12:43 AM
@John Newton: conventional crop breeding includes radioactive irradiation of plants to produce mutants to select from. Surely, this is rather "violent".
26/05/14 12:29 AM

General

It looks like 56% of "free-range" producers are just pretending.
Stocking density is certainly not the only measure, but it is the best single unambiguous measure - it should be on every package.
10/06/15 12:38 AM
@Bushie: The credit should go to Aldi. Coles management is on record blaming Aldi for messing with the cosy duopoly's comfy business model and profits.
05/08/14 10:06 PM
Why is it necessary to send samples for Germany? Has Australia lost all analytical capacity to test for sugars?
16/06/14 11:56 PM
CSIRO just needs to slim down its bloated head office (communications staff, performance managers, organisational specialists) to pre-2000 levels, and the saving is already achieved.
13/04/14 11:56 PM
We used to be told that the Nino/Nina phenomenon had nothing to do with the general veracity of global warming. Now the hopes are for an El Nino to nudge the inconvenient Pause. How things change ...
10/05/15 10:50 PM
Hasn't the Bureau of Meteorology been speculating on an El Nino for a year now?
It may be better to keep their doubts to themselves rather than eroding their credibility by trying to hog publicity with low-quality content.
18/03/15 11:00 PM
The Rhiannon faction of the NSW Greens would welcome with open arms a high-profile like-minded candidate.
10/05/15 10:46 PM
People and peak bodies saying that greenies "don't understand" are deluding themselves.
Greenies understand perfectly well, but their objective is to generally raise the costs of the types of businesses they do not like, to make them contract.
29/04/15 11:09 PM
The Greens have no idea about the difference between gross value of production and value added. Not that this comes as a surprise.
17/02/15 11:29 PM
Rob, if there is such a huge margin in beef processing and marketing, why haven't cattle producers teamed up and set up their own?
Putting money to where one's mouth is would be better received by society than calls to re-legislate agrarian socialism.
10/12/14 12:48 AM

Horticulture

Fruit bruising by customers is one factor, but variety is another.
The industry is pushing Hass, an inferior variety that browns easily, has unsightly dark strings and has a very narrow window of edibility between hard and spoiled. Green-skinned varieties tend to be superior on all these counts and often have better taste too.
09/08/15 10:56 PM
Sloppy Fauxfacts: Panama disease is not caused by a virus. Try a fungus called Fusarium.
16/03/15 10:28 PM
"What was in the kitchen four years ago isn’t what is there today." Mr Cameron is absolutely right.
Still, SPCA is still churning out 1950s style commodity tinned fruit, where the competition is either cheaper or better. They need a reality check before a cheque.
04/02/14 11:55 PM
Over-fussy, inflexible, consumers are to blame for much of the waste. The banana industry's mulching one-quarter to a third of its crop, as it is not pretty enough on the outside to sell, is just the worst known case, but not unique.
However, I too ended up with shop-bought bananas that never ripened - and used them as cooking bananas instead. Green potatoes just need to be peeled harder and they are mostly useable. Besides, how many people use broccoli stalks?
22/07/12 11:45 PM
I trust the anti-imports campaigners also refuse to buy imported machinery, tools, chemicals, cars, furniture, household appliances and clothes, and would be willing to pay 50-100% more for them to make sure nothing is imported.
Oh, and accept that no imports should go hand-in-hand with no exports: now, that would shrink our farm sector!
17/01/11 10:36 PM
I suspect that the Chinese Fujis will be more palatable than the (presumably Australian) Red Delicious in the photo above.
That said, I will not buy them, just as I avoid Chinese vegetables.
However, they will be a boon to people whose primary concern is to feed their families within their budget, not the chemical use on Chinese farms.
On the other hand, I am eagerly awaiting New Zealand apples that are superior to most Australian produce.
17/01/11 03:48 AM
jock, on that basis, all agricultural exports from Australia should cease fortwith: no doubt some Australian natives similarly hitch a ride now and again.
The fact is, either we accept a level of risk or we have no trade. And it cuts both ways: if we expect others to accept our exports, we must also accept imports.
As for fireblight: if it is as disastrous as the Australian apple industry says, how come that the New Zealand apple industry is going so strong?
05/12/10 11:21 PM
Alas, it is much worse than that, Bushie Bill. Brad is the chairman of the Australian Beef Association, an organization supposed to work for better industry profitability, and he has no idea who his industry's customers are.
17/06/10 03:35 AM
Brad, your ignorant half-cocked statements are a case study why farmers' complaints are not taken seriously in this country. Halving the self-righteousness and doubling the self-education would be advisable. The domestic market is NOT the beef industry's biggest. If you do not like the sources I have presented and find ABS or ABARE reports too difficult reading, just look at this kids' summary on the DFAT website: http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/affa overview.html
16/06/10 09:59 PM
Brad, did you actually read the ABA submission and the ACCC report? All your points are addressed: different spreads in beef prices are due to overseas agricultural subsidies, and there is a detailed case study of apple prices. The ABA submission is a barely coherent general rant about Japan, grading, NLIS and pork, studded by a few random numbers. There is much dark talk about the supermarket duopsony blighting the market, never mind the fact that they handle just 12% of beef produced in Australia while 65% is exported - some market power. Out of the nine issues ABA want addressed, NOT ONE pertains to the alleged duopsony. http://www.accc.gov.au/content/it em.phtml?itemId=813748&nodeId=d88 ecdcd4d3c24233ac11b2d91c501c9&fn= 146%20(late%2019%20Mar)%20-%20Aus tralian%20Beef%20Association%20(1 3%20pages).pdf http://www.accc.gov.au/content/it em.phtml?itemId=838251&nodeId=682 10597d8c50ef39932cafa725a0469&fn= Grocery%20inquiry%20report,%20cha pters%2011%E2%80%9320.pdf
16/06/10 01:44 AM

Livestock

"Free range" in Australia is a marketing con kicked off by Coles and matched by Woolies.
Genuine free range is a niche industry whose product is too expensive most people. Hence the pretend free range, deceptively presented with pictures of chooks in green meadows.
It would not surprise me if the higher price of pretend free range had a much higher retail margin than caged. And to guarantee consumer compliance, Coleworths will remove the cage option ...
26/10/14 11:10 PM
The Greens should also legislate for refrigerated supply chains and higher consumer incomes in importing countries - this is all it takes, doesn't it?
23/03/14 10:34 PM

Machinery

Trugger: the "ultra clean" applies to the product, not the process.
Gas-to-liquids uses a narrow range of gases to make a product whose composition can be much more controlled than what can be obtained from the distillation of crude oil. The same method gives us the synthetic engine oils that are superior to conventional oils.
The process can be very dirty, and keeping the lid on this is a regulatory task.
08/05/11 11:58 PM
The article has a crucial misprint. Ethanol has LESS energy than petrol, not more. Hence the 20-30% higher consumption when run on E85. I wonder if E85 will cost 70-80% of unleaded ...
10/08/10 12:09 AM

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