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Territory launches Mango Field Guide

THE part of Australia where mangoes ripen first has delivered the most comprehensive Mango Field Guide ever produced for growers.
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The Northern Territory Department of Resources (DoR) released the guide last December at Berrimah Farm, Makagon Road, Berrimah.

The Mango Field Guide has been developed as a practical and portable book that can be carried into the orchard and is an ideal diagnostic tool for growers, agronomists, extension officers and researchers.

The new version of the Guide is far more comprehensive with new high resolution photographs and can be uploaded electronically and viewed on computers and various hand-held computers or smart phones.

DoR believes the Guide will be an essential resource to assist growers to identify pests, beneficial insects, diseases and disorders of mangoes.

The Guide will be distributed to mango growers in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

In launching the guide, DoR acknowledged Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) for funding the Delivering Mango Technology project as well as support from industry including, Northern Territory Horticulture Association, Australian Mango Industry Association and the Northern Territory Mango Industry Association.

The authors of the book also thanked mango growers and operators of

commercial packing sheds for their support in the development of the publication.

*Copies of the Mango Field Guide can be obtained by contacting the NT Department of Resources on (08) 8999 2258.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

No need to import more vegetables: AUSVEG

LOCAL produce has had its profile raised today as the industry fights to ensure that the recent flooding in key foodbowl regions does not lead to an unecessary hike in imported fruit and vegetables.
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AUSVEG chief executive Richard Mulcahy today endorsed Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten’s comments that no increase in the importation of vegetables was needed due to the ongoing floods in a number of States around Australia.

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

“Australia already imports too many vegetables as it is. There is no justification to further increase imports as a result of the floods,” Mr Mulcahy said.

“We need to keep the pressure on retailers at all levels not to take advantage of this situation and mislead consumers into thinking that there is a massive shortage in supply. I would encourage consumers to shop around to avoid being taken advantage of by those who might exploit the current situation,” he said.

“We are currently experiencing some pressures on supply, however, by no means is there a need to import more vegetables. Australian growers can still meet demand.”

“At the moment we are seeing price pressures in some salad lines but these will only be temporary.”

“We have seen price rises for some products such as pumpkin, sweet potato, ginger and garlic, but we are expecting that in 2-3 weeks time, as other areas of production come online, those prices will again stabilise.”

“Growers, retailers and wholesalers can work through situations like these to find solutions. Already Coles has made modifications to its quality assurance specifications as a result of the floods and there are other solutions also being worked through with growers.”

“In Queensland there is very little vegetable production at this time of year and whilst the floods and unseasonal humidity in the southern States have caused damage to crops, there are still other regions which are able to meet consumer demand.”

“Consumers need to remember that international suppliers do not have to adhere to the same strict regulations in terms of chemical usage on crops. Buying Australian will always be the freshest and safest option.”

“There are still problems with transport infrastructure and as a result one of the biggest problems currently is logistical, with trucks struggling to move freely around some parts of the country.”

“Queensland growers are currently doing everything they can to prepare for the winter growing season and we are confident that there will not be long term supply issues of vegetables,” said Mr Mulcahy.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Liquidators closer to Great Southern action

THE liquidator of Great Southern is a step closer to bringing legal action against the failed agribusiness group after striking a deal with a listed litigation funding company to fund potential court proceedings, according to The Australian Financial Review .
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Hillcrest Litigation Services (HLS) told the Australian Securities zexchange (ASX) that it had entered into a funding agreement with Ferrier Hodgson to allow the liquidator to complete its investigations into Great Southern, which buckled in May 2009 under more than $800 million of debt, and potentially fund legal actions to recovery funds for investors.

“HLS has agreed to provide funding to enable the liquidators to complete their investigations into certain aspects of the affairs of the companies and thereafter to pursue any recovery actions as appropriate,” the company said in a statement.

About 43,000 investors and 12,000 shareholders of Great Southern were left billions of dollard out of pocket after the failure of the one-time agribusiness heavyweight in 2009.

In a report into Great Southern’s affairs, released in November 2009, Ferrier Hodgson appeared to rule out pursuing the directors for trading while insolvent but said it would continue to investigate several transactions, including Project Transform, the plan that involved grower-investors swapping cattle scheme lots for shares in the ASX-listed parent company.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Facelift for PIRSA but levy to stay

GLOBAL COST: Minister for Agriculture Michael O’Brien says cost-recovery for government services that benefit farmers is not a South Australian phenomenon but is occuring throughout the world.SOUTH Australia’s primary production sector can expect a new-look PIRSA in 2011 from the State Government, along with a new agribusiness council to provide advice and information to Agriculture Minister Michael O’Brien.
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But it should not expect any turnarounds on the proposed biosecurity levy, with the government insisting animal health costs must be recovered.

However, the levy could be a cost-neutral exercise, with the potential for funds in other existing levies to be drawn upon.

This is part of the government’s increasing focus on cost-recovery for current activities that deliver a benefit to private stakeholders – such as farmers.

Speaking to Stock Journal as he approached one year in the role, Mr O’Brien outlined his views on where the industry was headed in 2011 and addressed some of the government’s less popular policies causing the industry concern.

The new agribusiness council would be in place by mid-year and would help to focus the government’s investment in the agriculture industry, particularly in attracting new development to the State.

Mr O’Brien said the council would perform a similar role to SA’s Economic Development Board but specific to the agribusiness sector, identifying opportunities in the industry and helping to focus the government’s assistance.

It would contain agricultural bureau representation but would replace the Advisory Board of Agriculture, for which funding was cut in the recent State Budget.

*Full report in Stock Journal, January 27 issue, 2011.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

WA Nats leader keeping quiet on Palmer

WEST Australian Nationals leader Brendon Grylls may refuse an order by the state’s Freedom of Information Commissioner to reveal correspondence between his office and Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer.
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Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel ruled late on Tuesday that 16 withheld documents should be released to “preserve public confidence in government by allowing the public to judge for itself whether proper and impartial processes are followed at the highest levels of government,” reports The Australian Financial Review .

Mr Grylls said yesterday he was considering whether to appeal against the decision within his allotted 21 days because the state’s solicitor had advised that some of the documents would reveal unrelated, commercially sensitive information about Mr Palmer’s company Mineralogy.

“The moment I say ‘commercial in confidence’ I am suddenly holding secret documents but, until I release them all, I can’t prove that is what it is. It defeats the purpose of the FOI act, which says third parties have the right for information to be exempt.”

State Labor opposition MP Mark McGowan has for months pursued Mr Grylls and the government over its relationship with Mr palmer, with questions over whether it was influenced by him to lift a $45 million environmental bond for his Balmoral South project in the Pilbara.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

No need to import more vegetables: AUSVEG

LOCAL produce has had its profile raised today as the industry fights to ensure that the recent flooding in key foodbowl regions does not lead to an unecessary hike in imported fruit and vegetables.
Nanjing Night Net

AUSVEG chief executive Richard Mulcahy today endorsed Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten’s comments that no increase in the importation of vegetables was needed due to the ongoing floods in a number of States around Australia.

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

“Australia already imports too many vegetables as it is. There is no justification to further increase imports as a result of the floods,” Mr Mulcahy said.

“We need to keep the pressure on retailers at all levels not to take advantage of this situation and mislead consumers into thinking that there is a massive shortage in supply. I would encourage consumers to shop around to avoid being taken advantage of by those who might exploit the current situation,” he said.

“We are currently experiencing some pressures on supply, however, by no means is there a need to import more vegetables. Australian growers can still meet demand.”

“At the moment we are seeing price pressures in some salad lines but these will only be temporary.”

“We have seen price rises for some products such as pumpkin, sweet potato, ginger and garlic, but we are expecting that in 2-3 weeks time, as other areas of production come online, those prices will again stabilise.”

“Growers, retailers and wholesalers can work through situations like these to find solutions. Already Coles has made modifications to its quality assurance specifications as a result of the floods and there are other solutions also being worked through with growers.”

“In Queensland there is very little vegetable production at this time of year and whilst the floods and unseasonal humidity in the southern States have caused damage to crops, there are still other regions which are able to meet consumer demand.”

“Consumers need to remember that international suppliers do not have to adhere to the same strict regulations in terms of chemical usage on crops. Buying Australian will always be the freshest and safest option.”

“There are still problems with transport infrastructure and as a result one of the biggest problems currently is logistical, with trucks struggling to move freely around some parts of the country.”

“Queensland growers are currently doing everything they can to prepare for the winter growing season and we are confident that there will not be long term supply issues of vegetables,” said Mr Mulcahy.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Scaribar unit ready to go

EASY TRANSPORT: Better stubble handling, exceptional ground following ability for more efficient precision tillage and seeding and low maintenance combined with a narrow transport width are the big features of this Scaribar on offer by Lyndoch Motors this week.WITH A price tag of just $55,000 including GST, this ready-to-work Horwood Bagshaw 12.8 metre Scaribar on offer by Lyndoch Motors, Lyndoch, is the top buy of the week.
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Lyndoch Motors dealer principal Graham Ahrens said the Scaribar was a real primary and secondary tillage machine that was ready to be hooked up to a buyer’s choice of air seeder cart.

“Being South Australian designed and built, it is a tough, strong and simple unit with a straightforward design and low maintenance factor,” Mr Ahrens said.

“It is a 1998 built machine which, with its 12.8m working width, is a singlefold unit rigged for single-shoot sowing

“This machine is equipped with 57 single spring edge-on tynes at 22.3 centimetre spacings and is fitted with Agmaster single shoot boots and points.

“It also comes with a set of quick attach Sharman 85-millimetre V profile semi-pneumatic walking press-wheels”.

Mr Ahrens said the Scaribar featured a unique five-row frame and open tyne layout which maximised stubble and trash flow and allowed for multiple tyne spacing configurations to suit individual sowing requirements

.

“One of the machine’s really big features is its single row of centrally positioned 600mm high flotation wheels.

“This, it is claimed, gives the Scaribar, a high 710mm under-frame clearance, and also a smoother ride for more accurate depth control with less soil compaction and a reduced draught requirement.

“This Scaribar is also fitted with a long A-frame hydraulic drawbar hitch for better and more even tracking.”

Mr Ahrens said he believed the 12.8m Scaribar was a machine ideally suited for smaller operators.

Full report in Stock Journal, January 27 issue, 2011.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

No need to import more vegetables: AUSVEG

LOCAL produce has had its profile raised today as the industry fights to ensure that the recent flooding in key foodbowl regions does not lead to an unecessary hike in imported fruit and vegetables.
Nanjing Night Net

AUSVEG chief executive Richard Mulcahy today endorsed Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten’s comments that no increase in the importation of vegetables was needed due to the ongoing floods in a number of States around Australia.

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

“Australia already imports too many vegetables as it is. There is no justification to further increase imports as a result of the floods,” Mr Mulcahy said.

“We need to keep the pressure on retailers at all levels not to take advantage of this situation and mislead consumers into thinking that there is a massive shortage in supply. I would encourage consumers to shop around to avoid being taken advantage of by those who might exploit the current situation,” he said.

“We are currently experiencing some pressures on supply, however, by no means is there a need to import more vegetables. Australian growers can still meet demand.”

“At the moment we are seeing price pressures in some salad lines but these will only be temporary.”

“We have seen price rises for some products such as pumpkin, sweet potato, ginger and garlic, but we are expecting that in 2-3 weeks time, as other areas of production come online, those prices will again stabilise.”

“Growers, retailers and wholesalers can work through situations like these to find solutions. Already Coles has made modifications to its quality assurance specifications as a result of the floods and there are other solutions also being worked through with growers.”

“In Queensland there is very little vegetable production at this time of year and whilst the floods and unseasonal humidity in the southern States have caused damage to crops, there are still other regions which are able to meet consumer demand.”

“Consumers need to remember that international suppliers do not have to adhere to the same strict regulations in terms of chemical usage on crops. Buying Australian will always be the freshest and safest option.”

“There are still problems with transport infrastructure and as a result one of the biggest problems currently is logistical, with trucks struggling to move freely around some parts of the country.”

“Queensland growers are currently doing everything they can to prepare for the winter growing season and we are confident that there will not be long term supply issues of vegetables,” said Mr Mulcahy.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Dubbo to go private?

DUBBO saleyards – the largest in NSW – may be about to join a growing number of selling centres in moving from council ownership into private hands.
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Regional Infrastructure, the company behind the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange (CTLX), at Carcoar, has already stated an interest in redeveloping the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets after its owner, Dubbo City Council, called last week for expressions of interest for potential private sector involvement.

The council is proposing establishment of a new $13 million sheep selling centre on the present site and has called for possible private investment in the project.

Regional Infrastructure director, Garry Edwards, said this week that after development of CTLX, the Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange, at Wodonga, and centres in Ballarat, Victoria, and Rockhampton, Queensland,the Dubbo scheme fitted in with his company’s plans.

“Yes, we would be interested in Dubbo,” Mr Edwards said.

“Dubbo is a significant regional hub from our perspective and it fits into our business plan.

“We could develop the site and build it up from its current situation.”

Plans to redevelop the historic site, in the pipeline for several years, had been brought forward as a result of large sheep yardings at weekly sales, Dubbo City Council director of corporate development, Megan Dixon, said.

Since 1950, throughput of livestock at Dubbo had dramatically increased.

In the first full year of operation, the Dubbo market handled 9334 cattle and 145,843 sheep.

By 2007, the market was handling 178,845 cattle and 1.3 million sheep annually.

“For the last four years, we have been working on a masterplan and it would need $13 million for the sheep (yards) and $5 million for cattle further down the track,” Ms Dixon said.

“The saleyards do compete with other council amenities for funding and in the last two years, we have had really large yardings since we moved to one sheep sale a week.

“Regional Infrastructure has been quite forward with its intention to expand its reach but nothing has been decided and we are open to all options.”

Ms Dixon said the council would be open to a public-private partnership when expressions of interest close on February 15.

Before Christmas, Richmond Valley Council decided not to sell the Casino Regional Livestock Exchange – despite large private-sector interest.

However, a number of other councils have relinquished control over saleyards due to rising costs and increased animal welfare commitments.

Last year, Yass Valley Council backed plans by local landowner, Brendan Abbey, to build a

15,000 sheep and 2000 cattle capacity privately-owned sale centre on land near the Hume Highway.

The site of the council’s present saleyards – operated at a loss of $50,608 in 2009-10 – is earmarked for a housing development.

The shift towards establishing privately run yards is the result of councils having “many more restrictions” on how they run the business, says Narromine Shire Council general manager, Greg Lamont.

“The biggest threat to council-run saleyards is online selling because the buyer can look so easily at the lots,” he said.

“The private sector can deal with online selling much better than any council in the State.

“Privatisation (of Dubbo saleyards) will give them more flexibility to run a saleyard than the council has.”

But Mr Lamont said Narromine saleyards would remain in council hands and, despite large sheep yardings at nearby Dubbo, its “niche” as a centre for store sheep would enable it to continue to compete.

“Narromine has got options for it to continue to be a viable saleyards – we are in a niche market in store sheep, so we are hopeful of being here for a while yet,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

ForestrySA plantations debate heats up

INTERPRETATIONS are mixed amongst forestry campaign leaders regarding reports that state forests minister Michael O’Brien will submit a proposal for cabinet discussions, which essentially opposes government intentions to sell off the ForestrySA plantations.
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However, it is a shared perception that the revelations have only elevated the importance of February’s rally.

On Monday, an anonymous source from within the Labor Party told The Border Watch that Mr O’Brien had requested Cabinet discuss a proposal that would see ForestrySA buy more land to expand plantations, rather than sell them to a private buyer.

Sources also stated that many within the party held “misgivings” about the plan to sell the state-owned forests.

Independent member for Mount Gambier Don Pegler slammed the reports as mere “smoke and mirrors” and a attempt by the government to “take the sting out of the campaign.”

Mr Pegler discounted Minister O’Brien’s intentions to expand plantations to be unrelated to the government’s intentions to forward sell ForestrySA plantations.

“They are two entirely different issues,” he said.

“Last time O’Brien was here he was telling us to reinvent ourselves and accept the sale but now he has made an about face and is publicly opposing the sale – which one shall we believe?”

However, Mount Gambier mayor Steve Perryman has labelled Minister O’Brien an “ally” who has finally started listening.

“My understanding of O’Brien’s intentions will see an expansion of government ownership through an expansion of the state owned plantations,” he said.

“That ought to mean that this plan would exclude the forward sale process.

“It appears that he has been listening to not just the ForestrySA board but also to the advice from regional leaders and union representatives who have been pushing this case.”

Mr Perryman said the fact that the issue had become so contentious that it was capable of driving a wedge to divide government was positive news for the campaign.

“It is a positive sign that the pressure we have applied has resulted in it becoming one of the key issues causing disunity, and that it has brought to light opposition surrounding the issue within the party,” he said.

However, Mr Perryman said it was an opportunity for the South East community to take advantage of at the upcoming rally.

“I think what has happened is that through this campaign we have been educating those in government and the wider state about the value of this forestry industry and what it means to us – they are gradually catching on,” he said.

“The rally on February 8 will be the paramount opportunity to make sure the message is getting through and I urge people to vote with their feet and join us in Adelaide.”

Meanwhile, mayors from the lower South East council’s and the member for Mount Gambier and Mackillop have sent an open letter to Premier Mike Rann demanding more specific details regarding the sale.

“We are extremely concerned that there has not been more details given on this decision which could jeopardise the heart and soul of the community down here in the South East,” he said.

“There are too many unanswered questions.”

Amongst the details requested are an “exact” description of the asset up for sale, the precise terms of the sale, the timing of the sale process, a figure on the expected return from the sale, and how many years of rotations are being considered.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.