FARM INSTITUTE INSIGHTS

Vol. 14 | No. 3 | August 2017


Using agricultural land for utility-scale photovoltaic solar electricity generation

The renewable energy sector in Australia is experiencing unprecedented levels of investment, and this presents a unique opportunity for the national economy and for communities in regional Australia. Environmental impacts are minimal and community benefits can accrue from both large- and utility-scale solar projects, such as jobs and regional investment, but there are questions for the agricultural sector to consider as these opportunities open up... (more)


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IN MY VIEW

Senator Janet Rice and Senator David Leyonhjelm answer questions about: the main reasons that Australian farmers have experienced such significant increases in their energy costs; the switch to renewable energy sources; coal seam gas exploration; and whether renewable energy policies are hurting farmers? (more)


IN THE PIPELINE

The current debate about insufficient public investment in ICT infrastructure in rural and regional Australia is suffering from a lack of economic analysis on the potential benefits that increased investment could bring. Rather than dwelling on the negatives, we must re-frame the issue and focus on the opportunities for investment. (more)


DISCOVERIES

One of the hottest topics of discussion at the recent Harvesting the Benefits of Digital Agriculture Conference was the interaction between people and technology and the effect on the rural workforce. This is probably not surprising given the potential that digital technology has to disrupt many of the jobs and tasks traditionally associated with farming and agribusiness. (more)


FARM POLICY NEWS

Australian and international farm policy news. In this edition: US Congress debates farm data ownership; cattle farmers sue government for $600 million; drought devastates crops in South Europe; and 10-year OECD and FAO agricultural outlook predicts low food commodity prices. (more)


CROSSING THE DIVIDE

There is a tendency in some academic circles to be highly critical of something referred to as ‘Big Agriculture’, and to propose that the only ‘real’ agriculture is the traditional and historic model based on small-scale production by near-peasant landholders. (more)


INSTITUTE ACTIVITIES

More than 300 agribusiness professionals, farmers, technology experts and entrepreneurs attended AFI’s recent Harvesting the Benefits of Digital Agriculture Conference, with the event garnering a great deal of media interest. Save the date: Agriculture Roundtable Conference – Sydney, 9th &10th November 2017. (more)