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The changing face of Australian agriculture.

Mick Keogh - Monday, September 26, 2016

The average Australian farmer now manages a business with an asset value of close to five million dollars, and is now spending an increasing amount of time managing staff and talking to technical advisors, rather than actually doing all the physical work on the farm. These two changes have significant implications when considering what skills the 'average' farmer will need in the future, and how new farmers will get a start in the sector. View the rest of the post here

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Is an Australia-UK trade agreement more cultural cringe than commercial reality?

Mick Keogh - Monday, September 19, 2016

In the wake of the decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, there has been some speculation that the move will create opportunities for Australia, and that serious efforts should be made to negotiate a free trade deal between the UK and Australia. From the perspective of Australian agriculture, the proposal makes little sense and there appears to be much bigger trade opportunities much closer to home that need pursuing. View the rest of the post here

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Carbon now worth more than $190 million annually for farmers

Mick Keogh - Friday, August 26, 2016

The farm sector is one of the major beneficiaries of the Australian Government's Emission Reduction Fund auction process, and the annual revenue being generated by landholders continues to grow - seemingly under the radar. While there is some uncertainty about what might happen when funds currently allocated to this process have been all utilised, there is no doubt that it has created new opportunities for many landholders who will continue to reap the benefits for years to come. View the rest of the post here

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The distortions and mistruths about land clearing just keep on coming

Mick Keogh - Monday, August 15, 2016

Debates in Australia about land clearing are seemingly unending, in part due to the failure of many involved to recognise some basic truths, and in part due to the very significant divide between media reports about the issue, and what the available statistics actually say about land clearing rates. View the rest of the post here

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Is it time agricultural risk was shared along the supply chain?

Mick Keogh - Saturday, July 30, 2016

One of the most interesting responses to the recent dramatic and retrospective price reductions in the dairy sector has been the disbelief expressed by senior executives in sectors such as banking, manufacturing, transport and IT about the extent to which major processors in the dairy sector can simply put all the price risk onto dairy farmers, and even retrospectively change the price those farmers are paid. View the rest of the post here

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Australia continues to lose market share in global agricultural markets

Mick Keogh - Sunday, July 17, 2016

The report highlights that over the period from 1996 to the end of 2014 (the latest date for which comprehensive global trade data are available) the value of global agricultural trade has grown at an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% per annum. Over the same period, the value of agricultural imports by nations in Central and South Asia, ASEAN and Africa and the Middle East region have grown at a rate in excess of 14% per annum.  View the rest of the post here
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China beef reality check highlights challenges ahead for the dining boom

Mick Keogh - Monday, June 27, 2016

The latest beef import data for China shows that both Brazil and Uruguay have now moved ahead of Australia as exporters of beef to China. This is a statistic that highlights the smug complacency that some  Australian farmers and policymakers had about the 'inevitability' of Australia securing a major share of booming Asian food imports needs to be urgently cast aside, and some more serious thought given to how Australian agriculture can maximise the benefits available from the Asian food boom, given limited production capacity. View the rest of the post here

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Digital agriculture promise out of mobile telephone reach

Mick Keogh - Sunday, June 05, 2016

Lack of access to mobile telephone coverage is looming as the single biggest barrier that is preventing Australian farmers adopting a wide range of digital technologies that will provide the next big leap in agricultural productivity. View the rest of the post here

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A view of the future of digital agriculture from the USA

Mick Keogh - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The keynote speaker at the Australian Farm Institute's forthcoming Digital Disruption in Agriculture conference is Dr David Clifford, Lead Quantitative Researcher, Agronomic Modelling, The Climate Corporation, USA. The Australian Farm Institute asked Dr Clifford a series of questions on the future of digital agriculture.  View the rest of the post here

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Will human input be superfluous in the digital farming era – lessons from aviation disasters.

Richard Heath - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The promise of large productivity gains through digital agriculture are detailed in research to be released by the Australian Farm Institute on the 23rd of May. Productivity gains will be achieved through automation, more efficient use of inputs, and better decision making as a result of big data analytics. A romantic view of agriculture this is not, and many people raise concerns over what will happen to the “art” of farming. So how important will human input into farming be in the future? Can recent air disasters give us some clues? View the rest of the post here

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