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Australian farm businesses could do better with different funding models

The biggest challenge facing Australian agriculture is the risk of a drought, but it’s not the normal climatic drought that farmers are used to routinely managing, but a drought of capital. The risk arises because Australian farming businesses rely very strongly on debt financing, and there is not the wide variety of different funding models that exist in other sectors, or in the agriculture sectors of other nations.

Access to adequate capital was the key focus at the Australian Farm Institute’s recent Funding Agriculture’s Future Conference. (more)

Farm animal welfare is becoming a flashpoint of misunderstanding between the agricultural sector and the general Australian community. At the heart of the misunderstanding is increasingly divided perceptions about what constitutes ‘farm animal welfare’. (more)

The Australian farm sector may only account for 2% of Australia’s gross domestic product, but the sector is responsible for the environmental management of over 50% of Australia’s land mass. Carbon farming projects can highlight Australian farmers' role in sustainable land and natural resources management. (more)

Kim Carr and Christopher Pyne on the advantages and disadvantages of proposed changes to university fees. (more)

The greenhouse emission benefits anti-livestock activist groups - including  PETA, Voiceless and Animals Australia - claim to be associated with vegetarian diets are highly speculative and grossly overstated. (more)

In this edition: Western Australian GM crops recklessly contaminated with ideology; China’s sovereign wealth fund goes foraging for agricultural assets; Marketing marketing; and changes to the US Clean Water Act raise farmers’ ire. (more)

The Institute’s Funding Agriculture’s Future Conference held in Canberra provided some fascinating insights into the reality of investment in Australian agriculture; and an open letter written by ‘Bill Farmer’ from the Institute to celebrity fitness trainer Michelle Bridges stirred up a fair bit of controversy. (more)

Upcoming Event: The Institute’s Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference will be held at the Park Hyatt Melbourne on 12 & 13 November, 2014. 

Images:  Animal Health Australia, Australian Lot Feeders’ Association, CSIRO, Pete Hill, Hipnotic Content, Greenpeace, Sarah Keogh, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, RSPCA, RSPCA Victoria, SouthCorp, Kyle Taylor, University of Fraser Valley Agriculture   

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