Recent comments by: Bluey
Grain of Truth
I'd like to see a joining of forces between NSWFA, Graincorp and AWB.
I'd back it 100%.
Gregor, I don't feel the EC support was nearly enough for rural communities suffering through a severe ten year drought event.
We survived well for four years and it was only then we began needing assistence. What price a healthy rural Australia producing food and population?
Unfortunately the real issues were lost in the Climate Change fiasco - suddenly farming was going to be unviable anyway and a carbon tax would save the planet.
And to compare farming conditions here to those in the EEC or US is ludicrous. They harvest eight ton crops EVERY year. They cut silage EVERY year. In Switzerland this year fertilizer cost approximately $400 t. Their heavy yielding wheat crop returned $450 t although being rain affected with low falling numbers.
We've been on our property for 90 years and my wife and I have just spent 10 years raising our family through our best working years.
We have certainly produced more for Australia than we've taken - it's now time for new insurance policies and soft commodity regulations so future generations don't have to suffer the mental, financial and physical exhaustion whole communities have had to suffer.
**waves hello to Bushie Bill**
About time someone brought that ignorant serial farmer abuser Gittens to account. He has never provided rational debate, but more exposed his personal animosity to Australian farming families via the SMH, much like his alter ego on the Land - Bushie Bill.
He uses so called knowledge of economics as a weapon for his vitriolic attacks, yet makes it obvious he has no understanding of modern agriculture on which to base his claims.
Interesting to note that Fairfax freelance journalists earn around $1.50 per word, while Australian milk sells in Coles for $1.00 per litre ...
I always think of the Daleks on Dr Who when I hear non-viable-entity...non-viable-en tity...
Bill, how do you think farmers survived a decade long drought event without drought insurance, as in the US? Of course we have business plans, usually three separate budgets based on what-ifs and both short and long term goals.
But we can't create wealth out of thin air like banks with fees and interest. It's getting more difficult to predict what prices of any commodity is going to do, or by how much input prices will increase by, and the one thing the banks should be able to inform us on, ie. interest rates, they can't.
Nail on head, Jen from the bush. Forward estimating has become a toss of the coin.
Where will grain prices be next year? Should we forward contract, what will the weather do? Should we budget $30,000 for an unexpected tractor breakdown at sowing time? Will China reduce wool purchases based on their own Australian owned farm production?
So easy for urban wage earners to demand detailed budgets from agriculture, but increasingly difficult to plan ahead for just one year, let alone the five years we used to.
I think it's a good idea. Backpackers are usually motivated, interesting and good for the young social life of rural towns, and many are from rural backgrounds.
However, it isn't solving the underlying issues of the agricultural workforce. When the mining boom goes bust agriculture won't be able to soak up workers as before, if a floor price is acceptable for carbon, so it should be for food commodities.
China in 2012 is not Japan in 1970.
Still, investment is mostly good but proceed with caution is all we are saying.
Bill, Thanks for the flattering summation, but honestly I don't think an obsessive and mostly ignorant urban troll on an agricultural news site, achieving nothing but reducing the readership of your chosen publication, is worthy of insulting the surviving rural businessmen and women who still read The Land.
If some $250 billion hadn't been squandered on useless schemes like pink batts, and QLD Labor had paid their flood insurance, there would be no need for levies now.
We could also have dental care and a healthier defence force.
Well brunettes are fine man
And blondes are fun
But when it comes to getting the dirty job done
I'll take a red headed woman
A red headed woman
It takes a read headed woman
To get a dirty job done
Tell you what Jock Laurie and Joe Ludwig, when you hear farmers stating things are great, and we are feeling positive, then things will probably be great and we'll be feeling positive...
Around 2007 during the millennium drought our area of Western NSW was deemed "the world's litmus test" by global warmists. A documentary of our area was made called "Waiting For Rain", and the consensus was that the drought would be permanent. Funny then, how the drought broke after a decade, as had all the previous big droughts and was followed by flooding across Eastern Australia which seemed to surprise many. Even funnier that last winter our region dipped to near record lows of -5.2C and this January was certainly the coolest any local can remember. We don't seem to be the litmus test now!
Pro Freedom, during the last six years of drought just $2.4 billion was spent assisting every affected rural business across Australia. Up till then, farmers used their own savings, investments and retirement.
A few weeks ago Conroy "rounded off" $4 billion on the NBN.
With diligent economics and a basic understanding of world food production (ie the importance of the Australian wheatbelt) we could now have a strong, motivated rural sector with benefits flowing through to cities.
Instead, we have a rural recession caused by a massive debt burden, largely ignored by an urban culture.
In WW2 farmers were retained for food and fibre production, leading to an insult from Whitlam (a bomber navigator) that "he didn't see many farmers there".
Keating changed Australia from "a sheep run and extended quarry", and happily gave our tariffs away for nothing.
The single desk was scrapped (joyfully for the US) during our decade of drought - yet Ludwig is distressed by the hardship of US farmers during their one year drought. At what stage do we here demand support and respect?
To continue to innovate and adapt and cut costs is not enough and government is very much involved.
James, it's a combination of traders and marketers.
Yep hopefully wheat prices will be that price at harvest, but what about next year? Or the year after?
I'm tired of hearing "there's every chance" and "prices could be.." it's too expensive a gamble these days for more uncertainties other than the weather, pests or disease, and I'm sick of living from year to year because of freely manipulated prices loosely disguised as informed trading.
So, yesterday prices were rising due to dry weather in parts of Russia and the US, but today grain marketers are concerned about Greece and Spain? Yeh right.
In an increasingly manipulated market there needs to be more certainty for growers. We cannot just be price takers anymore, no matter how clever our marketing skills are.
There needs to be a worldwide floor price on all grades of internationally traded grains and oilseeds. It's not a subsidy, and the mistakes learned from the old wool floor price should be used as guidance to set fair and equitable prices for all players.
While it's some comfort to know prices are almost at profit level (might be, could be), it's demoralizing to think the only years we'll make any solid return on investment is when disasters are ocurring in other countries..
blahblah, it's very tiring watching you stalk Jock. Unlike you he grows wheat for his income and has a firm understanding of the industry, politics and probably most important to him, his community.
So far your idealogical views of free trade are so inaccurate that most grain growers on here view your comments as those of a child.
Another point Ian is accurate on is the fact many new or innovative farm businesses actively seek publicity to promote their ventures.
Most are broke and gone within 24 months, but the general public believe all these business models are huge successes and leading the industry.
Ian I agree. It's a typical reaction to propaganda from green and animal activist groups - "to grow food naturally man.."
I've been to farmer's markets in California and "pick your own" farms in England and the one defining feature of each is their proximity to major centres.
If the world wants staple, reliable food, like bread and cereal, people have to realize that much food is grown in isolated areas, combined on a global scale and traded internationally.
Deregul8, I received $300 per ton in 1994 ...
We're also on NBN satellite for the past few weeks - quicker than the previous sat broadband, but slower than town. We'll never receive fibre optic to our house, regardless of Rudd's claim that EVERY home in Australia will be connected ..
Bushie Bill, it is about time you stopped trying to represent youself as an educated rural advocate on a rural publication.
Your demeaning attempts to prove equality with posters such as Qlander leaves us in contempt - why should owners of cattle stations and productive rural enterprises need justify themselves to an urban sycophant crippled by envy and hatred?
Gosh it's been cold this winter, hasn't it.
nico, there's a show on the telly called Preppers, about different groups of Americans who are all convinced the world will end and so spend their entire lives preparing for the worst.
Trouble is, they all have different ideas on exactly how the world will end and so some prepare for plague, some prepare for war and some prepare for global meltdown.
Sadly, they forget to live their lives and miss it. I'm sure if you head to the beach this summer, it'll be just the same as it was 50 years ago.
Another boring rant from Gittins using broad figures, predictably followed by a worshipful Bill..like they are one!
This quote - "Part of the problem is our lack of imagination. Many of us have only a vague idea of the role played by the businesses that operate between primary and secondary producers and you and me.", sums them up perfectly.
It's knowledge you lack, not imagination. Do you not think farmers have embraced labour reducing technology? Or found new ways of marketing?
Productivity and efficiency can only go so far without profit, though you seem to imagine otherwise.
Wireless is the future, the NBN is nothing more than a poor attempt to control internet traffic.
The money wasted on this could have funded free dental care, two new major dams with hydro power and five new regional hospitals. Not to mention uni accomodation for regional youth who are supposedly part of our brave new future..
Just look at the youth today working their smartphones, they don't want to be tied to a desktop.
5. Short term profit does not always mean long term viability. Which is why the concern of Australian farmers leaving the industry in droves needs to be investigated.
6. Rice is now the only exported Australian grown grain not controlled by foreign interests. If foreign entities own the farm, the factory and the shipping, which some now do, very little profit remains in Australia.
I do not see mature debate as adolescent, but the uninformed Fairfax support club bleating about rascism or xenophobia to every sensible question put forward on this issue is becoming a bit annoying.
What a load of tripe. So many inaccuracies it's difficult to know where to start. Here's a list:
1. No-one is against foreign investment in Australian agriculture, but it needs to be monitored and debated.
2. Qatar has openly announced it will export lamb directly to Qatar, as China is doing with wheat and dairy. Not bypassing traditional markets??
3. Farmers (here and worldwide) have often switched production in the nation's interest - read about the two world wars, early settlement.
4. With regards to food security, research the Irish potato famine. It could happen again.
Which is why most countries, but not this country, have food security plans established and are acting on them.
Interesting to note that in parts of the U.S some housing developments on city outskirts are being levelled and returned to agricultural production...
You activists appear to be insane, and are so far removed from "nature" that it's scary.
The diggers that fought and died for this nation would weep at the current population of adult children.
No Bushie, it's about there being too many imported containers to inspect properly, take the Chinese dirt/fertiliser fiasco. Plus the fact that we are already dealing with too many pests, weeds and diseases as it is and the best cure is prevention.
Bill, you forgot capitalism, which is surprising as you're such an advocate..you also missed my point entirely, your arguments are extremely one dimensional and not always reflective of agriculture - and if no-one deserves to be subsidised we may as well axe the pension, all welfare payments and medicare.
Well Bill, I don't pretend to be an expert on world economies, first and foremost I'm a primary producer. But I believe China has worrying trends developing - high inflation and loose credit.
And I do know booms are generally followed by busts, the USA will be strong again I'm sure.
But what about social impact? You spout figures and economics like a chimp on crack, froth at the mouth over tarriffs and free trade; but the reason no-one on here can take you seriously is because it's an Australian agricultural forum.
If you don't live in rural Australia and face the realities we deal with every day you can have no understanding of our ideals or priorities. Bad policy can be changed and that's what we try and do, but you need more knowledge of our industry than what you can find on Google, and so far you have shown no proof that you have this knowledge.
Quote - Part 1-nsw grazier, there is no such thing as a fair playing field. Get over it and position yourself in the real world, or accept the only option, which is that you are uncompetitive and non-viable. (by Bushie Bill) - Unquote.
Well Bushie Bill, I was just listening to a talk by President Obama on the ABC, relating to China's economy and fiscal policy. He stated "until China was committed to a more level playing field, the two countries would have difficulty restructuring trade negotiations".
I think you're the unviable one Bushie, you're rhetoric is un - Australian, outdated and quite frankly, rather sad.
I really couldn't be bothered trying to rationalize with the likes of BB, Blah blah, Nicky and the likes anymore, it's doing my head in.
Refer to my reply on the article "Land is the problem, not climate" as I don't want to repeat myself.
And Bill, seriously, mental illness is no longer a taboo topic. If you need help, it's out there. Gaining self respect and losing the need for gratuitous attention seeking is just a phone call away..
Bill if it was possible to find out who the actual buyer is before or during the sale, difficult as most work through Australian companies like the Wentworth Group, I would forego a small part of sale profit if it meant the young lad next door, or the young family from up north, got a look in.
It's called ethics, but most sellers probably wouldn't be in a position to exert that control, if the bank is calling the shots.
Qatar now owns hundreds of thousands of hectares of blue ribbon irrigation country in eastern Australia producing lamb for themselves.
In New Zealand any purchase of land over 5 ha by foreign buyers is strictly assessed. Same in every other developed country, Except Australia.
Through years of neglect and pure bastardry our agricultural sector is being bought by countries who can't believe their luck (and our lunacy).
Like all our other industries that have been sold out, don't complain when our future youth are nothing but farmhands, employed by foreign owned interests.
Diesel head I've nothing against foreign investment, but it has to be managed. Is it good business to sell another 50,000 ha of blue ribbon irrigation land to say, Qatar, so they can produce their own lamb, or produce that lamb here and sell it to them?
Short term monetary gain is hardly a recipe for a prosperous Australian agriculture industry into the future.
A foreign company now controls our wheat exports. Last year alone China purchased another 70,000 ha of prime land in WA, as well as owning a quarter of our water in southern Australia.
This really needs to be addressed immediately. 18% of water (let alone land) in SA is now foreign owned, huge tracts of irrigation properties in other states are now foreign owned...nothing wrong with some foreign investment but it's gone too far.
Bushie Bill, I assume your pathological hatred of Australian farmers makes you happy to see your own country being sold out, no doubt you've an economic model to re-assure yourself it's for the best.
Sadly it's the ignorant masses who also think like you, overpaid and underworked, that will live to see their little worlds collapse around them.
Exactly Qlander, except out here it's "the main difference etc is whether you were under a storm".
Bill, it's still a gamble regardless of planning and management (but you are right to a degree).
During the drought we were told by a financial management consultant that 50% of decisions we made would probably be wrong - the trick was to not blame yourself and move on.
It's been a long haul, hence the youth not returning to the farms and older farmers are looking to retire, people are just burnt out.
Cash flow is variable with some ahead of others - you can't call a farmer who's raised a family through a 10 year drought a bad manager because he's short of cashflow!
Hopefully a few good seasons will see a more general enthusiasm and farmers again trusting their decision making. Then property values should begin to rise again.