Trade remains as crucial as ever to the agriculture sector in Australia. Many commodity sectors are strongly dependent on overseas markets and domestic producers continue to seek viable export options. The research, which is the subject of this report, seeks to identify enduring trends in overseas trade and provide guidance to agricultural policy-makers aiming to improve Australia’s agricultural trade performance.
The Summer 2016 edition of the Farm Policy Journal contains the two winning essays for the 2016 John Ralph essay competition, plus a selection of other meritorious entries. The topic of the essay competition this year was: Farm environmental stewardship programs are just subsidies in disguise and should not be adopted in Australia.
Farm Policy Journal – Spring 2016: Can Australia’s biosecurity standards survive in a free trade era?
Biosecurity is at the forefront of Australia’s success as an agricultural exporter. Australia has an enviable biosecurity record due to investment in research, development and biosecurity infrastructure. However, as agricultural trade barriers fall and tourism and travel increases, there is an increased risk of biosecurity breaches in Australia, and these could have a devastating economic impact.
Jaimie Lovell, NSW Farmers’ Association, and Roger Fletcher, Fletcher International Exports, give their views on the potential of inland rail. Biosecurity risks increase as Australian agriculture moves into premium markets, and beware the statistics in media reports on land clearing.
The use of digital agriculture systems enables farmers to change from paddock and herd average management, to square metre and individual animal management, with reported subsequent increases in farm productivity. Gains of the order of 10% to 15% have been recorded in cropping systems.