In the news

The Institute’s Executive Director, Mick Keogh, recently attended a rural debt summit in Canberra, between government, banks and farm bodies. He was quoted in the ABC Rural article by Lucy Barbour and Craig Zonca, ‘Banks commit to providing more information on rural debt’ (24 September 2014):

Mr Mahar says the NFF wants information on the levels, locations and causes of rural debt...

Chairman of the National Rural Advisory Council, Mick Keogh, agrees. ‘We know the aggregate debt level for Australian agriculture, and the Reserve Bank of Australia tracks that. But when it gets down to more regional or local numbers the situation is much less clear. ABARES did a report on the beef industry about a month ago and that highlighted that the debt levels were increasing in the northern beef sector,’ he said.

‘I think probably the drought has exacerbated this, but I guess really it’ll come down to information from the banks and other financial providers about what exactly the nature of the debt problem is in that region.’

Out and about

Recently the Institute’s Executive Director, Mick Keogh, has spoken at:

  • Livestock Saleyards Association of Victoria Inc, Melbourne
  • Case IH dinner, Sydney
  • Brownhill Cup Presentation – AgQuip, Gunnedah, New South Wales
  • WA Extension Seminar – CSIRO Perth, Floreat Park, Western Australia
  • Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) Future of the Wheatbelt Forum, Northam, Western Australia
  • Australian Superannuation Investment Conference, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
  • 2014 Nuffield Australia National Conference, Launceston, Tasmania
  • Rural Debt Roundtable, Canberra
  • CEO Institute, Sydney
  • Australian Lot Feeders’ Association BeefEx, Gold Coast, Queensland

The Institute has recently run a series of seminars on: The ‘people factor’ in the future of the Australian grains industry – observations from overseas and implications for Australia. The workshops started with a presentation by Mick Keogh on grain advisory and extension systems in the US, Brazil and Denmark with reference to how they compare with the systems in Australia. This was followed by workshop sessions convened by the Institute’s Senior Research Officer, Adam Tomlinson, discussing the effectiveness of workforce training and development activities available to the Australian grains industry. Workshops were held in Birchip, Cunderdin, Clare, Spring Ridge, Goondiwindi and Harden, in late September and early October 2014. 

Fertilizer Australia and the Australian Fertiliser Services Association (AFSA) held the Fertilizer 2014 conference in Adelaide on 1 October. Adam Tomlinson, the Institute’s Senior Research Officer, delivered a presentation on ‘Fertiliser Scenario Outputs from the FarmGAS Calculator’ during the session entitled ‘Carbon farming and industry stewardship’.

Images:  CSIRO, GrainCorp Limited, Little River Landcare Group

Back to November 2014 Insights contents page.