Recent comments by: Moondog
Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm
When nearly half of our land mass could be defined as desert and the rest either a very thin ban of top soil only a few centermeters deep that could blow away at any time and already the driest inhabited continent on earth wtih a climate change overlay that could mean some arable areas simply become too hot and dry to farm anymore, how can we promote ourselves as any consistent supplier of commodity foods into Asia?
Hooray - something we can agree on David. The legislation around the production of industrial hemp makes me feel like I am living in the dark ages. Surely we are all adult enough as a society to see that industrial hemp is similar to growing poppies without the opiates. We must start to look at alternatives crops that are suited to our growing conditions in Australia and produce products that can demand a premium. Innovative farmers need governmnet regulations to support them not hinder them.
If we focus our R&D efforts on export into new markets and expanding existing markets then it is money well spent. As a contributor to many R&D projects as a private business I have seen many benefits flow back to rural producers. But we also must not forget that any research should be about discovery and no matter how trival it might seem at the time if it fills an information gap for someone else to build on then it is money well spent. This is what builds a smarter nations and a smarter nation is a more prosperous nation.
If Agriculture was controlled by just a few businesses like mining is then we would not need a co-ordinated plan. The extreme views of David comparing Aust Gov to corrupt Comm Russian politics is again insulting! I also take offence that farmers should be allowed to do what ever they like on their farm as long as it does not upset their neighbours is also ridiculous. What if there neighbour is a miner! You have covered a few 1%'er cost issues without really considering the main reason for a national food plan - it is dev'd to put the focus of government resources on agriculture!
There needs to be more rapid assessment of bioaccumulative pesticides that can build to toxic levels This is generally older chemistry that is made in china india with little internal qa and not checked by APVMA independently - just paper work is checked -and we all know how easy it is to write something on a piece on paper. The cost of pesticides is a small percentage of the overall cost of production but can be a major pathway to human health risks. Reregister high risk pesticides and leave the others.
There is nothing wrong with sticking with conventionally bred oilseeds and grains if the profits returned to growers is the same on a /ha basis. Processors still want non-GM because consumers still want non-GM. The end consumer will make the choice and pay more for non-GM if that is what they want. If the purchase decision is based on good science or simply becuase they dont trust the multi-nationals to diliver a safe technology is irrelevant. At the end of the day the farmer will make a choice based on what is good for his or her business - not what politicians or blog jocks think.
Here we go again - market driven industries must listen to the market which is made up of consumers from all walks of life. Why is there a live animal export market - becasue people want to control the way they slaughter animals and we cater for that need. Every day we cater for the needs of all types of consumers. It is not extremists driving the agenda in this country David, simply the understanding that we must continue to evolve as a society and not see the world as an endless supply of resources.We are at the top of the food chain becuase of our ability to work collectively.
Can someone ask David if he is a member of the NRA please. His conspiracy theories are getting more and more extreme. Maybe not, you might get sued for making disparaging claims.
I agree that some level of sanity and goodwill needs to prevail in this situation. Pitting farmer against farmer is a no-win situation - the only winner are the law firms. There needs to be a generally accepted position that some "natural" level of GM contamination can occur. A zero tolerance approach is simply irrational. The real problem here is that governments have let the GM Suppliers into Aust with no protective legistration in place for a highly promiscous contaminant and have simply left it to the farmers to fight out. Governments love to legislate for everything else, why not GM?
David, David David, the goliath slayer! Let's all move to the land of milk and honey, the free market capital of the world and reap the rewards of a mad hatters tea party!
The only difference between dealing with China and US is Lawyer fees! No point drawing up binding agreements in China and no point trying to fight a breach of an agreement in the US. One will tie you up in prison if they get hold of you and the other will tie you up in the courts for an eternity.
The science is still very controversial across soil types. Potentially a great way for biological farmers to make some extra cash but are we simply splashing money around the rural sector with a lot leaching into schemes designed to measure and trade the carbon while not dealing with the real issue of climate change and investing in renewables
Regulatory agencies do not do independent tests, they reply on the data provided to the regulator by the registrant . I am not suggesting for one moment that producers of glyphosate would falsify their registration documents, however in biological systems you can repeat a trial a dozen times and get nine results one way and three another and sometimes the interpretation of the observer can be more subjective than it should be. There is evidence that glyphosate or its breakdown components affects living cells - to what degree they impact on humans as a whole is up for the "probable" debate.
I'm smelling a lot of green paint in the governments direct action plan and without good science from scientist rather the bureaucrats pulling the wool over our eyes like what has happened to the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, Carbon farming will just turn out to be another broken promise from this government - one that will have generations paying dearly. I suspect the costs of all this direct action plan will be burgeoned by farmers anyway in some sneaky deal with the Palmer Coal party!
It is not fair for companines that invest millions in R&D to develop novel chemistry to have their IP effectively handed over to a company that is simply exploiting a market opportunity. However, I believe if you do this to the Agchem industry then you also need to apply the same rules to the pharmacuetical industry where generics are big business. Competiton is good, but sometimes you simply dont need 200 different glyphosates to chose from which cost the regulator time and effort to approve that could be spent on new novel chemistry approvals
Co-ops work as long as everyone cooperates and I have found that most farmers these days have a competitive streak. I grew up around sugar cane co-operatives where the growers owned and shared the harvesters and had a share in the mill.These days it is all about how much bigger you can get by squeezing out your neighbour.becuase they see this is the only way to get ahead - individual survival and greed is killing co-ops.
Sometimes citizens need to be governed particularly in areas where there is a conflict of interest between the rights of the individual at the expense of the wider community. Sometimes harm to others is not self evident as it takes time to manifest. They are usually indirect actions or lack there of made by many that only governments can remedy.
Australia's debt growth between 2011-2014 was 6.7% which is not a crisis. In real terms the amount of government dept is equal to 10 months of government revenue - I would love to have 10 months of annual income as my mortgage debt! The libs are continuing to scare us all into a beleif that we are in a crisis situation which is not good for confidence in spending and investing. To strip funds out of Ag at a time when Ag needs the most support is simply bad politics!
Zareen makes some excellent observations but at the heart of the food supply issue is government agricultural policy which is manipulated by very powerful lobbiest like Monsanto, BAYER, Syngenta and the big fertiliser/resource companies. The other issue is that as government steps away from its role in agricultural research and extension function the private sector steps in with profit as the key driver. Farmers are advised to use more inputs to produce more and in most cases its more of the same. Then the issue become where do we sell it - to the junk food industries who exploit the abundance
Bosch is right on the money with grooming farmers as input cash cows. Industrial style farming only works if the market demand is there and when it is there you are locked in to producing a limited range of crops and at the mercy of the buyer due to the massive increased overheads that you need to service. You can't take any risks with markets.
To make an comparison between a pro-stance on nuclear energy and negative stance on GM is cropping farcical! Competitiveness comes from finding a competitive advantage. A GM free state is a competitive advantage. With BT resistance lurking in the background in the cotton growing areas I don't think the GM community can hang their hats on that success for too much longer!
Nice to seed breeders still pushing through the yield ceiling without GM. It means access to all markets and no potential seed contamination issues for processors and legal fights between famers.
Here we go again, not only will resistance emerge with neo's you will also wipe out any remnant pollinators and other biological control that may have existed. The reason why there are less GPA in stubble crops is that there is a small level of biodiversity in the field to allow an ecology of natural predators to exist but we care to ignore this in favour of going down the nuke'em attitude. Well done GRDC
The continued rise in China and India's middle class will see an ever increasing thirst for protein like beef. Cows like grains, so i cant see how demand for wheat globally will not increase over the next decade by substancial amounts. Demand and supply equation will push up prices, but we need infrustructure to support all forms of commerce not just grain handling. The governments are focused on headlines - building efficient rail systems is not reportable headlines and trains go through electrorates, they dont stay long enough for people to value what they do and how fast they do it.
Partnering with commercial entities is one thing but then using farmer money to line the pockets of the commercial partner is another. The control of IP is a serious issue for most PPP organisations. Handing over technology for the sake of a commercial outcome rather than long term revenue streaming its a big waste of tax payers and levy payers money. Projects like biological pesticides is a huge risk with low chances of success but I think GRDC is wasting huge amounts of money in this area.
"stupid is as stupid does" is the smartest man in the room - well said! The only winner down the GM bath is the holders of the GM technology who want to sell you the idea of food for everyone and money falling out of farmers pockets! That eupotia only exists in the minds of the marketing teams and PR mchines responsible for flogging us the GM dream! Round-up ready crops have now caused widespread weed resistance, so what do they other us now to deal with the glyphosate resistance 24D resistant crops - wow big leaps into the future of safe food production! And don't get me started on Bt cotton!
Before we go off making broad statments about how safe glyphosate is take a look at this interview with Soil Pathologist Dr Don Huber from Purdue University
Themule could not have said it any better. GM technology is a tool, not a solution.
What will this GM wheat trait bring us anyway - marginal improvement in protein at optimum expression levels when growing conditions are perfect? Drought tolerance would be at the expense of some other pathway in the plant which could result in other less obvious nutritional benefits being compromised.How about we spend some money on high yeilding perennial wheat, now that is something even I would be keen to see but i bet the seed, fertiliser and chemical companines arent :-)
The call by the multi-national suppliers of GM seed supply, fertilisers and chemicals to feed the world's shortage have sold us a glut! Maybe they can buy up all the surplus grain!
Don't rely on the Nationals to protect us from the miners, they talk big but are just puppets to the coalition and their mindless pursuit for re-election!